Mumbai Court Overturns Maintenance Order Citing Wife earns more than husband

Aug20,2023 #Maintenance #Mumbai court
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LI Network

Published on: 20 August 2023 at 11:20 IST

Sessions court in Mumbai has reversed an interim maintenance order issued by a magistrate, wherein the husband was directed to pay ₹10,000 as maintenance to his estranged wife.

The decision was based on the discovery that the wife’s income significantly exceeded that of her husband.

The Additional Sessions Judge, SB Pawar, highlighted that the primary aim of granting maintenance is to prevent a dependent spouse from falling into destitution due to the breakdown of a marriage.

Several factors are taken into consideration when determining the appropriate maintenance amount, including the wife’s reasonable needs, her financial independence, and the husband’s financial capability.

In the particular case at hand, the court found a substantial disparity between the incomes of the wife and the husband.

The wife’s annual income for the year 2020-2021 was recorded at approximately ₹89,35,720, owing to her ownership of a business concern. Meanwhile, the husband’s income, before filing the maintenance application, was a mere ₹3,50,000, sourced from his employment within the wife’s business.

Judge Pawar expressed that the magistrate’s decision to grant interim maintenance failed to account for the wife’s robust financial standing. Consequently, the maintenance order was deemed unjust and not in accordance with established legal principles, leading to its overturning by the sessions court.

This case emerged as an appeal challenging a magistrate court’s ruling within the context of an application under the Domestic Violence Act.

The wife alleged mental abuse and asserted that she was subjected to extortion attempts when she pursued a divorce. Moreover, she claimed that her husband demanded ₹4 crore from her.

On the other hand, the husband refused these allegations and countered by stating that his estranged wife had engaged in multiple extramarital affairs.

In December, the magistrate’s court granted the wife interim maintenance, prompting the husband to appeal the decision in the sessions court.

Ultimately, the sessions court concluded that the wife possessed a secure financial position and an independent income that adequately supported her.

As a result, it set aside the maintenance order, emphasizing the importance of considering the actual financial circumstances of both parties involved.

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