As Per IPC 498a Giving dowry is crime, but Judiciary will not Punish
IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
SUBJECT : Hindu Marriage Act
DATE OF DECISION: 14.1.2008
Rishi Kumar …….. Petitioner
through: Mr.Dhananjay Pandey, Adv. and
Suman …….. Respondent
through: Mrs.Geeta A. Kumar, Adv.
PRADEEP NANDRAJOG, J.
2. The petitioner and the respondent are bound by a matrimonial bond.
Unfortunately, the marriage has turned sour. A petition for divorce is pending.
Respondent filed an application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act
alleging that she had no income and that the petitioner was gainfully employed in
automobile business being sole proprietor of a workshop M/s.New Milap Auto
Engineering Works. She alleged that he was the only son of his parents. She stated
that her husband was having an income of Rs.50,000/- per month. She claimed
maintenance in sum of Rs.33,000/- per month.
3. Petitioner refuted each and every assertion made by the respondent. He stated
that he was disbanded by his parents. He stated that he was carrying on business as
a motor mechanic from a shop at Mangol Puri. He stated that he was earning
between Rs.75,000/- to Rs.80,000/- per annum. He relied upon his income tax
4. In rejoinder the wife pointed out the social and economic status of the two
families when she got married. She pointed out that her parents spent lavishly at
the wedding and even gave an Alto car to her husband. She pointed out that at the
time of marriage apart from usual gifts, furniture to fill a drawing room, colour
television, refrigerator, washing machine and other electrical gadgets were gifted
by her parents. From the extent of dowry articles she wanted the Court to gather
the economic status of the parties.
5. The wife succeeded.
6. Disbelieving the income tax returns of the husband and with reference to the
dowry articles given at the time of marriage learned Judge has opined that the
petitioner should give to the respondent a monthly maintenance of Rs.10,000/-.
7. Learned Matrimonial Judge has noted various decision wherein it has been
noted that income tax returns are not the true measure of the income of a spouse
and that when divorce claims are made by parties some conjectures and guesswork
is permitted when resorted to by the Court.
8. I note that the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its decision reported as (1997) 7 SCC 7
Jasbir Kaur vs. D.J.Dehradun upheld an order passed by a Court on guess-work.
9. Suffice would it be to state that in matrimonial disputes the income of every
husband disappears even when in employment. It is noted that husband’s resort to
excessive deductions from their salaries. All kinds of loans are taken and monthly
deductions are effected from their salaries.
10. In my opinion, the socio-economic background of the parties is a relevant
consideration while determining the income of a respective spouse.
11. Maintaining a car would need at least Rs.5,000/- per month on fuel,
maintenance and insurance. A person who owns a refrigerator, a colour television,
a washing machine, mixer grinder and other electrical and electronic appliances
would obviously be using them.
12. Detergents used in washing machines are 30 times as expensive than ordinary
washing soaps. Only a person with means would use an expensive detergent in a
13. At the time when he got married, obviously, petitioner had a good income for
the reason if he was earning a meagre sum of Rs.6,000/- to Rs.7,000/- per month,
the girl’s family would not have married their daughter to him.
14. The family of the bride and the groom come from a well-off strata of the
15. The wife would be entitled to the same standard of living to which she was
used to when living with her husband. She would be entitled to use the same kind
of electrical and electronic gadgets. Why should she be denied the use of a car?
16. I accordingly hold that the learned Trial Judge was justified in disbelieving the
income tax returns produced by the petitioner. Learned Judge was justified in
estimating the income of the petitioner with reference to the socio-economic
background of the parties.
17. I have made a brief reference to the dowry articles given by the family of the
bride at the time of the marriage. The same shows that the petitioner was having a
matching social and economic status.
18. I find no merits in the petition. The same is dismissed.
19. No costs.