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Amanpreet Kaur vs Kanwalvir Singh Kang on 17 February, 2018

CR No.2211 of 2017 (OM) -1-

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
AT CHANDIGARH

CR No.2211 of 2017 (OM)
Date of decision : February 17, 2018

Amanpreet Kaur ……. Petitioner

Versus

Kanwalvir Singh Kang and another ……. Respondents

CORAM : HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE KULDIP SINGH

Present:- Petitioner in person alongwith
Ms. Tarun Preet Kaur, Advocate.

Respondent in person along with
Mr. Anand Chhiber, Sr. Advocate with
Mr. Gaurav Chopra, Advocate.

1. Whether the Reporters of local newspaper may be allowed to
see the judgment ?

2. To be referred to the Reporter or not.

3. Whether the judgment should be reported in the digest ?

KULDIP SINGH J. (ORAL)

Impugned in the present revision petition is the order dated

29.11.2016 (Annexure P-12) passed by learned Addl. District Judge,

Chandigarh, whereby the application filed by the wife-petitioner under

Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 was dismissed.

Brief facts of the case are that a petition filed under Section 13

of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 by husband-respondent No.1 Kanwalvir

Singh Kang for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground

of cruelty and adultery is pending before the trial court. During the

pendency of the said petition, the present application under Section 24 of

the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 was filed for grant of maintenance pendente

lite.

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It is stated in the application that respondent No.1-husband is a

leading Lawyer and is practicing in the Punjab and Haryana High Court at

Chandigarh. He was earlier practicing in Delhi High Court from the year

2007 and now, he is practicing in this Court since September, 2010. He is

occupying a room No.26 and having a complete staff including junior

lawyers, Clerk and Stenographer. He is also practicing at Patiala Courts on

Saturdays and other days fixed by the Courts. He has also employed two

Drivers, one at Chandigarh and another at Patiala. He is Standing Counsel

for Canadian Embassy and Y.P.S. School and his minimum income from the

legal profession is `1,00,000/- per month. It is stated that respondent No.1-

husband is also having triple storied house in Patiala, named “Kanwalvir

Cottage”. First and second floors of which have been rented out to various

tenants. Respondent No.1-husband and his mother are also having a triple

storied commercial building. One portion of which is occupied by the

Oriental Bank of Commerce, one portion is being occupied by an

Educational Institute and another portion is occupied by Pearl Groups. They

have also shops, which are rented out. Respondent No.1-husband and his

mother own agriculture land at Village Khamano, District Fatehgarh Sahib.

They have numerous bank accounts in the nature of FDRs. The petitioner-

wife states that she is living with the financial assistance of her old age

mother, who is retired bank employee and fetching just `1,680/- per month

as family pension and a small half yearly income of `35,000/- from

agriculture land inherited by her Late father S. Avtar Singh. S. Avtar Singh,

Advocate, father of the petitioner-wife died on 10.11.2013. He had a fixed

deposit of `6,27,000/-, which had been pledged to obtain a loan of

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`4,00,000/-, which was got encashed on 07.01.2016 for spending on the

litigation expenses and day to day expenses. The mother of the petitioner-

wife took a huge loan in January, 2015 to meet the expenditure including

litigation expenses. The petitioner-wife also owned 3.5 acres of agriculture

land at Village Bassi Pathana, District Fatehgarh Sahib, which has been

inherited from her father, in which she is co-sharer with her mother and

sister. The said property is under litigation since September, 2013. From the

said property, the petitioner-wife is getting 1/3rd share i.e. `35,000/- per

year. The father of the petitioner-wife had taken a farmer loan limit of

`3,00,000/- as concessional interest. The loan is being repaid. The share of

the petitioner-wife towards the loan comes to `1,12,487/-, which has been

paid by her mother by encashing the FDRs in her name. The remaining

amount of `16,299/- plus interest is still due. The petitioner-wife had to pay

`6,000/- as her share out of the total penalty of `18,000/- imposed by the

Electricity Board against her father. It is further stated that other civil and

criminal litigations are pending between the parties at Patiala, Chandigarh

and Delhi Courts. Though, the petitioner-wife is well educated but due to

paucity of job avenues and due to numerous litigations, she is unable to get

a suitable job at this stage.

The petitioner-wife had previously filed a similar application,

in which prayer was made for grant of litigation expenses only. The trial

court granted `5,000/- per month as litigation expenses, which was

challenged by her before this Court by way of filing CR No.4867 of 2013,

in which respondent No.1-husband made statement that he is ready to pay

`25,000/- per month, but he has not even paid `5,000/- granted by the trial

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court. Therefore, the prayer was made for grant of maintenance pendente

lite @ `1,00,000/- per month.

In the reply, respondent No.1-husband took the plea that the

petitioner-wife is a qualified professional having B.Sc. (I.T.). She worked

on various positions in India and Australia. Her educational qualification

and the date of work experiences have been enumerated in the reply. It is

stated that from the last two years i.e. 20.05.2014/date of separation, she has

not tried even once to get employed in the private/public sector. Respondent

No.1-husband stated that the petitioner-wife is self sufficient and the

application is filed only to harass him. During the divorce proceedings, an

application was filed only to claim litigation expenses and not maintenance

pendente lite . The petitioner-wife has agriculture land and getting `35,000/-

per year. The details of the agriculture land situated at Village Bassi

Pathana, District Fatehgarh Sahib has been mentioned. It is also stated that

she has also getting rental income from the property mentioned in the reply.

I have heard learned counsel for the parties and have also

carefully gone through the case file.

Admittedly, the petitioner-wife had previously filed an

application claiming the litigation expenses only. The trial court has

allowed the litigation expenses to the tune of `5,000/- per month. The said

order was challenged before this Court by way of filing CR No.4867 of

2013, which was decided by this Court on 09.09.2016, in which respondent

No.1-husband was ordered to pay Rs.15,000/- per month, subject to

adjustment in the final outcome of the decision to be taken by the trial court.

This was done, while setting aside the order passed by the trial court. It was

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noticed by this Court that on 01.08.2016, learned counsel for respondent

No.1-husband stated that respondent No.1-husband is ready and willing to

pay `25,000/- towards litigation expenses. In any case, while noticing that

earlier an application was filed for grant of litigation expenses. Now, the

present application is for grant of maintenance pendente lite.

Admittedly, respondent No.1-husband is a practicing Advocate

in this Court and his plea that he is having very meager income, is not

acceptable. Respondent No.1-husband has placed on file his Income Tax

Returns to show that he was having the gross annual income of little more

than `5,00,000/- for the assessment year 2013-14, the amount of `5,40,000/-

for the assessment year 2014-15, `4,97,643/- for the assessment year 2015-

16 and `3,77,147/- for the assessment year 2016-17.

I am of the view that the Income Tax Returns may not reflect

the true income. Therefore, it has to be assessed that the minimum income

of respondent No.1-husband cannot be less than `1,00,000/- per month.

Admittedly, in this case, the petitioner-wife is highly qualified.

She was previously working in Australia. She came back to India and

married with respondent No.1-husband. Unluckily, after few months of the

marriage, a controversy broke out and the litigation started, which

multiplied and now legal battle is going on between the parties at different

fronts.

From the interim orders placed on file, it comes out that even

the lengthy evidence is being recorded and this Court has intervened to

make the decision of the divorce petition date bound. Though, the

petitioner-wife is highly qualified, but there is nothing on file to show that

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she is doing any job. On account of litigation at Chandigarh, Patiala and

Delhi Courts, she has to take rounds of one or the other court.

Admittedly, the mental peace of both the parties is also

disturbed due to ongoing litigation. So far as properties of the petitioner-

wife is concerned, respondent No.1-husband alleged some income but

keeping in view the status of both the parties, particularly, the status of

respondent No.1-husband, who is a practicing Advocate in this Court, the

petitioner-wife is supposed to live with the same standard. The income from

the agriculture land may not satisfy such standard. Therefore, I am of the

view that the petitioner-wife is entitled to get maintenance pendente lite till

she get a job in the public/private sector.

Accordingly, the impugned order dated 29.11.2016 (Annexure

P-12) passed by learned Addl. District Judge, Chandigarh, disallowing any

maintenance pendente lite is set aside. As such, the present revision petition

is allowed. Respondent No.1-husband is ordered to pay `25,000/- per month

as maintenance pendente lite to the petitioner-wife from the date of filing of

the application until she is shown to have got a job in private/public sector

or till the decision of the divorce petition, whichever is earlier.

As such, present revision petition is allowed.

(KULDIP SINGH)
JUDGE
February 17, 2018
sarita
Whether speaking / reasoned Yes
Whether Reportable: No

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