HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
?Court No. – 32
Case :- FIRST APPEAL No. – 182 of 2020
Appellant :- Alok Kumar Singh
Respondent :- Ekta Singh
Counsel for Appellant :- R.K. Mishra
Hon’ble Shashi Kant Gupta,J.
Hon’ble Vipin Chandra Dixit,J.
This appeal has been filed by the appellant-husband challenging the impugned judgment and order dated 16.1.2020, passed by the Additional Principal Judge, Family Court, Court No.5, Kanpur Nagar in Suit No.416 of 2017 (Alok Kumar Singh vs. Smt.Ekta Singh), filed under Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (herein after referred to as the Act, 1955), by which the application (10?2) moved by the respondent-wife under Section 24 of the Act, 1955, has been allowed awarding Rs.6,000/- per month towards maintenance pendente lite.
Heard counsel for the appellant and perused the record.
The appellant-husband had filed divorce petition under Section 13 of the Act, 1955, seeking divorce from his wife on the ground of cruelty as well as desertion, which was registered as Suit No.416 of 2017. During the pendency of aforesaid divorce petition, the respondent-wife had moved an application under Section 24 of the Act, 1955, claiming Rs.20,000/- per month for maintenance pendente lite and Rs.10,000/- lump sum for legal expenses. It is alleged by the respondent-wife in her application that she is unemployed having no source of income whereas the income of her husband is Rs.80,000/- per month being Director of ONS Tutorials Bureau and Rs.15,00,000/- per annum from agricultural work.
The appellant-husband had filed objection to the application under Section 24 of the Act, 1955, denying the averment made in the application. The appellant-husband had stated in his objection that his wife has an income of Rs.10-15 thousands per month as she is working in a private degree college as librarian.
The learned court-below had recorded the finding that no documentary evidence was produced either by the husband or wife to prove the income of his/her spouse and after hearing the parties has awarded Rs.6,000/- per month towards interim maintenance vide order dated 16.01.2020, which is under challenge in the present appeal.
Admittedly, the respondent is a legally wedded wife of the appellant and the appellant being husband of the respondent is morally bound to discharge his legal obligation of maintaining his wife in any circumstances. The husband cannot be heard to say that he is not in a position to earn enough to be able to maintain his wife. In the present case, as the appellant has not frankly disclosed his income, an adverse inference can be drawn against him. Now it is well settled position of law that when the husband does not disclose to the court the exact amount of his income and the question of maintenance of his wife arose, the presumption would be against the husband and the obligation of the husband is on a higher pedestal.
Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and keeping in mind the spiralling inflation rate and high cost of living index, we are of the opinion that Rs.6,000/- per month to the wife towards maintenance pendente lite could not be treated to be on higher side. Thus, we find that the court below has given a cogent, convincing and satisfactory reasons while passing the impugned order and the same are neither perverse nor based on any extraneous consideration or irrelevant material. This Court, while exercising its appellate jurisdiction can not substitute its opinion for the opinion of the court below unless it is found that the conclusion drawn by the court below is factually incorrect, manifestly illegal or perverse. The appellant has failed to point out any infirmity in the finding recorded by the family court below.
In view of the above, we do not find any illegality, infirmity or perversity in the impugned order which may warrant any interference by this Court.
However, this order will not preclude the respondent-wife from filing an appeal against the impugned order to claim enhancement of maintenance amount.
In the result, the appeal fails and is hereby dismissed.
Order Date :- 24.2.2020