IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
Writ Petition No.7668 of 2009
Dr.Mrs.Neel Ameet Mahendrakar .. .. .. Petitioner
Mr.Ameet Achyut Mahendrakar .. .. Respondent
Ms.Seema Sarnaik for Petitioner.
Mrs.Geeta Mulekar for Respondent.
W I T H
Writ Petition No.256 of 2010
Mr.Ameet Achyut Mahendrakar .. .. Petitioner
Dr.Mrs.Neel Ameet Mahendrakar .. .. .. Respondent
Mrs.Geeta Mulekar for Petitioner.
Ms.Seema Sarnaik for Respondent.
CORAM : SMT.ROSHAN DALVI, J.
DATED : 13th January, 2010
1.Heard both sides.
2.Rule. Rule is made returnable forthwith in both the above Petitions.
3.The parties are husband and wife. The parties have challenged the interim order of maintenance passed by the learned Judge, Family Court No.2, Pune, dated 5.8.2009. The parties lived in India. They married in India. They thereafter settled in Boston, U.S.A. The parties married in May 2007. The marriage lasted for about 2 or 3 months until the wife returned to India in August 2007.
4.The husband serves in IBM Company and earns USD 94,994/-. After deductions made by his Company, his salary comes to USD 62,432/-. The husband has thereafter shown various annual personal expenses of USD 60,960/-. All these expenses are unsubstantiated by documentary evidence. The documentary evidence, if any, produced by the husband would be considered at the final hearing of the Petitions filed by both of them.
5.The wife is a qualified Dentist. She was practising prior to her marriage. She gave up her dentistry practice after marriage. She went to reside in the U.S.A. with her husband. She claims that it was agreed between the parties that the husband would admit her to a Dentistry College in the U.S. This aspect would have to be determined on evidence. The wife applied for maintenance on the footing that she would pursue further studies in the U.S. and has secured admission in a college in Boston where the husband lives. The expenses for college admission cannot be considered until after the evidence is recorded. Only the evidence would determine whether the wife would be entitled to pursue her studies in the U.S., upon proof of the specific agreement between the parties with regard to such studies.
6.The learned Judge has considered the annual earnings of the husband as well as the claim for maintenance amount taking into account that the expenses required for the wife cannot be claimed as interim maintenance pending adjudication of their respective claims. The reasoning of the learned Judge is correct.
7.Upon marriage, the parties were to stay in the U.S.,had the marriage not broken down. The evidence, which is being led in the Family Court, would decide whether the husband failed and neglected to maintain his wife or whether the wife without justification left the matrimonial home. Pending that adjudication, the wife must be reasonably maintained where the parties have resorted to litigation and where the jurisdiction of the Court is.
8.The wife may not be entitled to claim interim maintenance based upon an arithmetical calculation alone. She would not be entitled to half or even almost half of the net salary of the husband even after deductions of the other usual household expenses even at the final hearing of the Petitions, given her extremely short marriage.
9.The parties have been litigating for the grant of divorce as well as maintenance. The evidence of the husband has already been recorded. The litigation is,therefore, part-heard. In the meantime, the wife is required to be maintained for her usual needs as observed by the learned Judge.
10.Under these circumstances, the amount of maintenance granted by the learned Judge cannot be taken to be perverse and needs no interference.
11.Hence both the Writ Petitions are rejected. Rule is discharged accordingly in both the Petitions.
(SMT.ROSHAN DALVI, J.)