Respondents No. 5 To 7 vs 2 Ms. Neelima Sharma on 17 April, 2017

IN THE COURT OF MANOJ JAIN: ADDL SESSIONS JUDGE
FAST TRACK COURT: NORTH-WEST DISTRICT: ROHINI
DELHI

Criminal Appeal No. 49882/16
CNR No:-DLNW01-009175-2016

1 Rajesh Sharma
Son of late Sh. Deen Dayal Sharma,
Resident of K-8, Rajendera Park,
Gurgaon, Haryana.

2 Vinod Sharma
Son of late Sh. Deen Dayal Sharma

3 Manish Sharma
Son of late Sh. Deen Dayal Sharma

4 Smt. Pooja Sharma
Wife of Sh. Manish Sharma

[Respondent No. 2 to 4
Residents of Albela Street,
Jain Chowk, Bhiwani, Haryana].

5 Smt. Saroj Devi
Wife of Sh. Sajjan

6 Smt. Sulochna
Daughter of late Sh. Deen Dayal Sharma

7 Sh. Sajjan Sharma

[Respondents No. 5 to 7
Residents of Pt. Neki Ram Gali,
near Vaish Higher Sec. School,
Dinod Gate, Bhiwani, Haryana].

…………………………. Appellants
Versus

1 The State (Govt. of N.C.T.) of Delhi

2 Ms. Neelima Sharma
Wife of Sh. Rajesh Sharma,
Resident of G-564, Sultan Puri,
Delhi-110086
……………………….. Respondents

Criminal Appeal No. 49882/16 (Rajesh Sharma Ors Vs. The State Ors.) page 1 of 6
Date of allocation of appeal: 17/11/2016
Date of conclusion of arguments: 17/04/2017
Date of judgment: 17/04/2017

Particulars of impugned order

Date of impugned order: 22/09/2016
Name of Trial Court: Ms. Susheel Bala Dagar
Ld. MM (Mahila Court),
North-West District,
Rohini Courts, Delhi.

Memo of appearance:-

Sh. Kulbhushan Mehta, learned counsel for appellants.
Sh. Rajat Kalra, Ld. Substitute Addl. PP for State/respondent No.1.
Sh. M.P. Chaudhary, learned counsel for respondent no.2.

JUDGMENT

1 Appellants have taken exception to impugned order dated 22/09/2016
whereby, appellant no.1 has been directed to pay interim maintenance @ Rs.
25,000/- per month to his estranged wife and their daughter with effect from
03/05/2016 and whereby, the request made by appellant No. 2 Vinod Sharma and
appellant No. 3 Manish Sharma seeking dropping of proceedings qua them has
also been turned down.

2 Trial Court record has been received.

3 Respondent No.2 Neelima Sharma has also filed reply to the appeal.

Written submissions have also been furnished from the side of appellants.

4 Admittedly, the marriage between appellant No.1 Rajesh Sharma and
respondent No. 2 Neelima Sharma was solemnised on 15/08/2012. There are
number of allegations and counter allegations. As per appellant No.1, immediately
after the engagement, respondent No.2 met him and refused to marry him but her
father assured him in this regard claiming that her remarks were in lighter vein
only. According to appellant No.1, respondent No.2 refused to enter into any

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conjugal relationship on the ground that she was not interested in such marriage
whereas, according to respondent No.2, she was tortured, harassed, humiliated
and agonised by all the appellants. According to her, the conduct of appellants
put her under deep depression which has made her unable to live and lead a
normal life.

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5 Undoubtedly, these allegations and counter allegations can be gone
into appropriately by way of comprehensive trial only. In view of the specific
averments made by respondent No. 2 Neelima Sharma, in her petition filed u/s 12
of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDV Act), at this
stage, it has to be presumed that she is not living away without any sufficient
cause. Thus, she primarily seems entitled to seek interim maintenance.

6 Learned Trial Court had asked both the sides to submit affidavits qua
their assets in terms of directions contained in order passed by Hon’ble High
Court of Delhi in Kusum Sharma Vs Mahender Kumar Sharma, FAO No.
369/1996 and keeping in mind the facts and averments made therein, the learned
Trial Court came to the conclusion that the appellant No.1 was having income of
not less than Rs. 50,000/- per month.

7 At the relevant time, appellant No.1 was working in TCS, Gurgaon,
Haryana. He is B-Tech. During the course of arguments, he, however, informed
this Court that he was presently employed in ‘Suzuki’ and his income was more or
less the same. Respondent No.2 is maintaining her minor daughter as well and
keeping in mind the observations made in Annurita Vohra Vs Sandeep Vohra,
2004 (3) AD 252, the learned Trial Court directed appellant No.1 to pay interim
maintenance @ Rs. 25,000/- per month to respondent No. 2 as well as to her
daughter.

8 I have carefully gone through the material on record as well as the
written submissions submitted by the appellants. I have also heard appellant
No.1 who is present in person. It has simply been claimed by him that
respondent No.2 is intentionally and deliberately concealing her source of income.

Criminal Appeal No. 49882/16 (Rajesh Sharma Ors Vs. The State Ors.) page 3 of 6
He wants to infer and suggest that she is gainfully employed somewhere.
However, it seems to be figment of his unsubstantiated estimation and self-styled
wild guess. According to appellant No. 1, respondent No.2 Neelima Sharma has
come-up with self-contradictory and unbelievable allegations as on one hand, she
claims that she is under acute depression and on the other, she claims that she is
preparing for examination.

9 I am, however, of the view that appellant No.1 cannot be permitted to
dig out any advantage on this score. During the course of the arguments,
respondent No.2 Neelima Sharma was present in the Court and she herself also
asserted that she would try her best to come out of depression and with that
objective only she was preparing for NET (National Entrance Test) examination.
As per the affidavits furnished by respondent No. 2 before the learned Trial Court,
she has categorically claimed that she is not working anywhere. Undoubtedly,
she is Ph.D in Hindi. However, it cannot be ignored that as per her own assertion,
she is reeling under acute depression and, therefore, presently, she is not working
anywhere. She seems trying to come out of such depression. Moreover, it is
nobody’s case that respondent has deliberately left any job or deliberately not
wanting to work anywhere so that she enjoys easy money from her husband.
India is a country where unemployment is a big social issue and getting a suitable
job is a mammoth task. Be that as it may, evidently, as of now, she is not found to
be employed anywhere. Merely because she is Ph.D would not mean that she
cannot seek any maintenance for herself or for that matter for her minor daughter.

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10 Learned counsel for respondent No.2 has relied upon two recent
judgments of Apex Court and has, on the strength of the same, contended that
any such wife cannot be denied maintenance merely due to the fact that she is
educated and qualified and can afford to support herself. In Shailja Anr. Vs.
Khobbanna, Criminal Appeal No. 6025-6026 of 2013 (Date of decision:-
18/01/2017), Hon’ble Apex Court has observed as under:-

“——–Whether the appellant No. 1 is capable of earning or whether
she is actually earning are two different requirements. Merely because the

Criminal Appeal No. 49882/16 (Rajesh Sharma Ors Vs. The State Ors.) page 4 of 6
appellant No. 1 is capable of earning is not, in our opinion, sufficient reason to
reduce the maintenance awarded by the Family Court.”

11 In Manish Jain Vs Akanksha Jain, Civil Appeal No. 4615 of 2017
(Date of decision:-30/03/2016), which case otherwise related to maintenance
under Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act, Hon’ble Apex Court has observed as
under in para-15:-

“An order for maintenance pendente lite or for costs of the
proceedings is conditional on the circumstance that the wife of husband who
makes a claim for the same has no independent income sufficient for her or his
support or to meet the necessary expenses of the proceeding. It is no answer
to a claim of maintenance that the wife is educated and could support herself.
Likewise, the financial position of the wifes parents is also immaterial. The Court
must take into consideration the status of the parties and the capacity of the
spouse to pay maintenance and whether the applicant has any independent
income sufficient for her or his support. Maintenance is always dependent upon
factual situation; the Court should, therefore, mould the claim for maintenance
determining the quantum based on various factors brought before the Court.”

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12 Principles of awarding maintenance would remain almost similar
irrespective of the forum chosen.

13 In view of aforesaid, I am of the considered opinion that learned Trial
Court has reached a justifiable and logical conclusion in awarding interim
maintenance @ Rs. 25,000/- per month.

14 As regards plea of dropping of proceedings qua appellant No.2 Vinod
Sharma and appellant No. 3 Manish Sharma (brothers of appellant No.1), merely
because they are government employees and are allegedly residing separately
would not earn them any relief, at least, at this initial juncture and threshold of the
case. There are specific allegations against them and respondent No.2 Neelima
Sharma has categorically averred in her application that after her marriage on
03/12/2012, she moved to matrimonial house situated at Albela Street, Jain

Criminal Appeal No. 49882/16 (Rajesh Sharma Ors Vs. The State Ors.) page 5 of 6
Chowk, Bhiwani where she lived upto 29/08/2014 and where brothers and sisters
of her husband were also residing. She has come-up with allegations about her
being abused at Bhiwani by both of them when she was residing in such shared
household located at Bhiwani. Things would become crystal clear only when
there is a comprehensive trial and since the case is still at its infancy, the
averments made in the petition of Neelima Sharma cannot be brushed aside and
she needs to be given an opportunity to substantiate the same by leading
evidence.

15 In view of aforesaid, I do not find any reason to interfere with the
reasoned order of learned Trial Court.

16 Appeal is accordingly dismissed.

17 A copy of this judgment be sent to learned trial court along with trial
court record.

18 File pertaining to appeal be consigned to Record Room

Announced in the open Court
On this 17th day of April 2017 (MANOJ JAIN)
Addl. Sessions Judge (FTC)
North-West Distt: Rohini: Delhi

Digitally signed
by MANOJ JAIN
MANOJ Date:
JAIN 2017.04.18
12:04:23
+0530

Criminal Appeal No. 49882/16 (Rajesh Sharma Ors Vs. The State Ors.) page 6 of 6

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