3 Nov 2021 11:19 AM GMT
A Delhi Court has recently observed that the statutory obligation to maintain a child is the paramount wish of a father and he cannot be permitted to limit the same on flimsy or baseless Grounds. Special Judge Deepak Wason also observed that while it is the statutory duty of the husband to maintain his wife and minor child, he cannot take subterfuges to deprive the wife of the benefit of...
A Delhi Court has recently observed that the statutory obligation to maintain a child is the paramount wish of a father and he cannot be permitted to limit the same on flimsy or baseless Grounds.
Special Judge Deepak Wason also observed that while it is the statutory duty of the husband to maintain his wife and minor child, he cannot take subterfuges to deprive the wife of the benefit of living with dignity and that it's his responsibility to ensure that the wife and children do not become destitute.
The Court was dealing with an appeal filed by the appellant husband under sec. 29 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 challenging a trial court order dated January 18, 2020.
The trial court had awarded an interim maintenance of Rs.15,000 per month in favour of the wife and her minor daughter from the date of the petition till the final disposal. It was also ordered that payment of maintenance has to be made on or before 10th day of each English calendar month.
The appellant husband had challenged the order stating that the same was based on surmises and conjectures, was a pure guess work and passed without appreciating the fact that the complaint was full of inconsistent and vague statements.
On the other hand, the respondents argued that the amount granted by the Trial Court towards the maintenance was on the lower side and the same must be enhanced.
Going through the facts of the case, the Court opined thus:
"It is to be kept in mind that after marriage, husband is bound to maintain his legally wedded wife and minor child as per law. There is no reason, not to pay maintenance to her legally wedded wife and minor child. So, the arguments of the appellant seems to be irrelevant at this stage."
The Court also observed that it is the sacrosanct duty of the husband to render the financial support to the wife and child even if he is required to earn money with physical labour, if he is able-bodied.
In this backdrop, the Court said:
"There is no escape route unless there is an order from the court that the wife is not entitled to get maintenance from the husband on any legally permissible grounds."
"Regard being had to the solemn pledge at the time of marriage and also in consonance with the statutory law that governs the field, it is the obligation of the husband to see that the wife and children does not become a destitute, a beggar. A situation is not to be maladroitly created where under she is compelled to resign to her fate and think of life "dust unto dust". It is totally impermissible."
Upholding the trial court order, the Court said that while the minor child is entitled to some reasonable maintenance amount for leading a decent dignified life, such a welfare of minor child is paramount purpose for both parents and the child cannot be thrown at the mercy of others by the father.
"In the present state of affairs, Rs.15,000/ is not such a great amount which can be reduced. The husband is duly bound to support his wife as well as child and is required to use all his potential for his earning. The husband cannot be allowed to say that he is not in a position to earn more or that most of the amount is required for his own purposes," the Court added.
The Court therefore observed that in absence of denial of existence of the marriage and denial of paternity of minor child, the appellant father cannot shy away from his statutory obligation of maintaining his minor child.
Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.
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