IN THE COURT OF MS. ANURADHA SHUKLA BHARDWAJ
ASJ02 (EAST) KARKARDOOMA COURTS, DELHI
CA No. 37/2014
Smt. Swati Kaushik
W/o Sh. Ashwini Sharma
R/o C501, Nagarjuna Aparments,Mayurkunj, Near Chilla Regulator
Sh. Ashwini Sharma
S/o Sh. C. Paul Sharma
R/o B37, Cel Apartments, Plot No. B14, Vasundhra Enclave
New Delhi110096 ………… Respondent
1. By this order I shall dispose of the appeal u/s 29 D.V. Act whereby appellant challenged the order dated 22/09/14.
2. The marriage between the parties is admitted and so is the birth of child. The parties has leveled allegations and counter allegations. The parties filed respective affidavits of income and assest before the trial court. After considering the prima facie case Ld. Trial Court held that the appellant/ wife was working with Tata Sky Ltd. She had a Master Diploma and she could maintain herself. The minor child, however, was granted a maintenance of Rs. 15,000/ from the date of petition. Respondent was also granted Rs. 10,000/ in lieu of expenses for residence. The income of the respondent was considered as Rs. 65,000 to Rs. 75,000 per month. The order has been challenged interalia on the ground that the appellant is an unemployed lady and has to take care of her minor child. The respondent and his family members had assets and had huge income. Appellant is living with her father and is dependent on him. The expenditure of respondent as per affidavit is much more than his income which shows that he earns more. He lives luxurious life, maintains driver, servant etc. The respondent has also challenged the order vide separate appeal stating that the appellant can maintain herself. It was argued by the Ld. Counsel for the appellant that she is living with the minor child separately from the respondent, however, the respondent has not paid a single penny for the maintenance of minor child despite the filing of the petition under DV Act in September 2011. It was argued that the though the appellant was working earlier, now she has the responsibility of the minor child. The appellant cannot move out of her house to take up a job leaving the minor child behind. It was argued that the respondent to avoid his liability has taken personal loans and education loan. As per the records the income of respondent is about 2 lacs per months and the wife and child are entitled for 60 % of the income.
3. Ld. Counsel for the respondent on the other hand argued that the respondent had to quit his job due to litigation. He wanted to keep appellant with him but she filed the Divorce. He argued that the child is of 5 years old now and if the appellant chooses not to work for the rest of her life, the respondent cannot be made to pay for her for the rest of her life despite the fact that she is educated woman who can maintain herself.
4. Ld. Counsel for the appellant relied upon the judgment of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in 140 (2007) DLT 16, Bharat Hegde Vs. Saroj Hegde where it was held that the applicant ( wife) had a right to live in a similar life style as she enjoyed in matrimonial home. He has also relied upon some more judgment which lay down more or less similar rule, the judgment being of the period of 2005 to 2009. The law has changed since then, by the judgment in In 171 (2010) DLT 644, Sanjay Bhardwaj & Ors. Vs. State wherein the Hon’ble High Court held that where the parties have equal educational qualification, both must take care of themselves.
5. Similar judgments have been delivered by the Hon’ble High Court over the period. The appellant is contesting that her husband earns a lot of money and she is entitled for a share in it. She herself cannot work because she has to take care of the minor child. The child would be 5 years plus as of now and as argued by the Ld. Counsel for the respondent, the appellant will have to take up some work sooner or later, she being an educated woman having earlier work experience. So far as the minor child is concerned the respondent cannot run away from the liability towards child even if the appellant who is the mother of the child, is working and is independent.
6. Ld. Counsel for the appellant argued that the respondent earns much more than is reflected from its affidavits. The admitted income of the respondent as of now is Rs. 75,000/. His actual income is a matter of trial. If the appellant proves that he is earning more, she would be entitled for enhanced maintenance payable from back date. At prima facie stage, respondent having admitted that he earns Rs. 75,000/, it shall be taken as his income. The order in so far as it relates to the maintenance granted to the child at Rs. 15000/ is without any error. There is no error in the relief of residence granted to the wife as Rs. 10,000/ per month as well. Since the wife has pleaded that she had to leave her job due to marriage and birth of child, and as of now she is unemployed, the respondent has a liability to provide for her maintenance. This maintenance however, cannot be perpetual as argued by the Ld. Counsel for the respondent. The take away salary of Rs. 75,000/ has been admitted by the respondent. He is already paying Rs. 10,000/ towards residence to the appellant. He shall pay an additional amount of Rs. 10,000/ per month to the wife. This maintenance however, shall be for restricted period i.e. for one year from the date of this order. The appellant shall during this period of one year look for a job and start an independent life. After the conclusion of one year , respondent shall not pay the maintenance of the appellant. Rest of the order remains unaltered. The order is modified in above terms.
7. TCR be sent back along with copy of this order. Appeal file be consigned to Record Room.
Announced in the open court on 12/03/2015
(ANURADHA SHUKLA BHARDWAJ)
ASJ02, (EAST) KKD COURTS/DELHI