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Unemployed husband, Maintenance denied

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN
BENCH AT JAIPUR

D.B. Civil Miscellaneous Appeal No. 4056/2019

Smt. Renu Gautam W/o Shri Naveen Sharma D/o Shri Satyavaan Sharma, Aged About 32 Years,
R/o 101-A, Jawahar Colony,Jhalawar, Rajasthan at Present Residing at Room No. 22,
Lakshmibai Girls Hostel, Rajasthan University, Jaipur, Rajasthan.—-Appellant

Versus

Shri Naveen Sharma S/o Shri Suresh Kumar Sharma, Aged About 35 Years,
R/o House No. 299, Tagore Nagar, Ajmer Road,Jaipur, Rajasthan.—-Respondent

For Appellant(s) : Mr. Shashank Sharma
For Respondent(s) : Mr.Satyam Khandelwal

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANGEET LODHA
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MAHENDAR KUMAR GOYAL

Judgment

03/02/2020

1. This appeal is filed by the appellant assailing the legality of the order dated 10.4.19 passed by the Family Court No.1, Jaipur in Civil Misc. Case No.545/18, whereby an application preferred by her under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (for short “the Act of 1955”), has been dismissed.

2. The respondent filed a petition against the appellant seeking divorce under the provisions of Section 13 of the Act of 1955. During the pendency of the petition, the appellant filed an application under Section 24 of the Act of 1955, claiming maintenance pendente lite from the respondent a sum of Rs.30,000/- per month, medical and other expenses Rs.5,000/- per month and Rs.50,000/- towards litigation expenses. 3. The appellant averred in the application that the respondent is working as Sales Executive in Osram Lighters and earning Rs. 25,000/- per month. That apart, he is earning Rs.50,000/- as rent from two storey residential house. She specifically averred that she has no source of income.

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4. A reply to the application was filed on behalf of the respondent that he is employed with Shubham Enterprises, Jaipur and earning only Rs.15,000/- per month whereas, the appellant is receiving a sum of Rs. 40,300/- as fellowship and Rs.7,760/- as HRA from University Grants Commission. In support of the submissions made as aforesaid, the respondent placed on record photo stat copy of the bank account of the appellant as also the award letter issued by the University Grants Commission showing that in the first year, the appellant was being paid fellowship Rs.38,800/- per month, in the second year Rs.40,300/- per month and in the third year Rs.41,900/- per month. The appellant also placed on record the details showing the payment of HRA and fellowship increment during the period from 12.2.16 to 15.10.18. It was further averred by the respondent that on account of pending litigation, his employer sought his resignation, he has already tendered the resignation on 30.3.19 and presently he is unemployed.

5. After due consideration of the rival submissions, the Family Court arrived at the finding that there is no material on record showing that the respondent has source of income as claimed whereas, the appellant is highly educated and was earning adequate amount by way of fellowship. The court observed that the appellant is capable to earn and maintain herself. Accordingly, the application has been rejected.

6. Learned counsel appearing for the appellant contended that the appellant was previously receiving the amount of fellowship but presently she is jobless and has no source of income. Learned counsel submitted that the Family Court has seriously erred in holding that being highly educated, the appellant is capable of earn adequately to maintain herself. Learned counsel submitted that the Family Court has accepted whatever stated by the respondent in reply to the application as gospel truth and thus, the order impugned passed without objective consideration deserves to be set aside.

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7. On the other hand, the counsel appearing for the respondent submitted that it is not in dispute that at the relevant time when the application was preferred, the appellant was having adequate source of income to maintain herself and thus, the application filed by her claiming maintenance taking a false stand was liable to be rejected on this count alone. Learned counsel submitted that the appellant is highly educated and has capability to earn her livelihood whereas, the respondent is unemployed.

8. We have considered the submissions of the learned counsel and perused the material on record.

9. Indisputably, the purpose behind Section 24 of the Act of 1955 is to provide necessary financial assistance to the party to the matrimonial dispute who has no independent income of his own sufficient for her or his support or to bear the expenses of the proceedings. While considering the application for award of interim maintenance, the relevant consideration is the inability of the spouse to maintain himself or herself for want of independent income or inadequacy of the income to maintain at the level of social status of other spouse.

10. It is pertinent to note that in the application filed, the appellant while disclosing the income of the respondent as Rs.75,000/- specifically averred that she has no source of income. Admittedly, as on the date the application was preferred by the respondent, she was being paid fellowship by the University Grants Commission as aforesaid and thus, the stand taken by her in the application preferred before the Family Court was false to her knowledge. It is pertinent to note that in the application filed, the respondent had taken the stand at the time of marriage, the respondent disclosed his income as 50,000/- per month whereas he was actually earning while working as Sales Executive in Osram Lighters only a sum of Rs.25,000/-. There was no evidence brought on record to establish that the respondent has rented income of Rs.50,000/- per month. Suffice it to say that there was sufficient material on record to show that appellant had adequate source of income whereas, there was no material placed on record to establish the income of the respondent as claimed. Thus, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, where the appellant had not approached the Court with clean hands and could not establish the income of the respondent so as to justify the claim of maintenance, in our considered opinion, the Family Court has committed no error in rejecting the application.

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11. No case for interference by us in appellate jurisdiction is made out.

12. The appeal is therefore, dismissed. No order as to costs.

(MAHENDAR KUMAR GOYAL),J (SANGEET LODHA),J

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