The Delhi High Court, in the case of Deepak Malhotra vs Deepti Malhotra and Ors, has held that the proportion of the husband’s income to be awarded as maintenance pendente lite to the wife is dependent on the surrounding circumstances and cannot be determined by a strict mathematical formula.
In this case, the family court had directed the husband to pay Rs. 22,000 every month to his wife as an interim measure from the date of filing of an application under Section 125 CrPC till the disposal of the case.
A case under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act is pending against the husband.
Further, an FIR under sections 498-A and 406 of the IPC has also been filed against him.
However, subsequently an order under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act for restitution of conjugal rights was issued by the court and the husband was granted anticipatory bail.
The wife then filed an application under Section 125 of the CrPC. The order directing the payment of interim maintenance was challenged by the husband.
Justice Ashok Kumar noted that while making an award for maintenance under the aforementioned provision, not only should the income of the husband be taken into consideration, but other factors like the status of the parties, the liabilities of the husband and the number of persons dependent on him should also be considered.
Further, it noted that there isn’t any mathematical formula to determine the amount of compensation and the courts should be flexible in their approach while determining the same. The court, after taking into consideration all the surrounding circumstances, has the discretion to determine the amount of periodic maintenance to be awarded.
After taking into consideration the monthly income of the husband, it modified the interim maintenance order to the extent that he would now have to pay Rs. 20,000 per month to the wife.
Read the Judgment here.