HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
?Court No. – 32
Case :- FIRST APPEAL No. – 64 of 2020
Appellant :- Awadhesh Kumar
Respondent :- Pryanka Gupta
Counsel for Appellant :- Rudra Pratap Singh
Hon’ble Shashi Kant Gupta,J.
Hon’ble Vipin Chandra Dixit,J.
This appeal has been filed against the order dated 07.11.2019 passed by the Principal Judge, Family Court, Sonbhadra in Original Suit No. 19 of 2019 (Awadhesh Kumar Versus Priyanka Gupta) under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act wherein Rs.2000/- towards maintenance pendente lite and Rs.5000/- lump sum for litigation expenses has been awarded in favour of the respondent.
Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record.
Perusal of the record shows a divorce suit was filed by the appellant (husband) against the respondent (wife) and during the pendency of the said suit, an application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act was filed by the respondent for maintenance pendente lite and litigation expenses. In the said application, it has been stated that appellant (husband) and his family members used to harass her for demand of dowry and consequently she was ousted from her matrimonial home and now she is living with her parents. It has been further stated that the appellant is a moneyed person having two tractors and huge agricultural land, out of which, he earns Rs.40,000/- per month. It has been alleged by the respondent that she does not have any source of income to maintain herself and contest the case. In the said application, the respondent claimed Rs.15,000/- per month for her maintenance pendente lite.
In reply, the appellant had filed his objection stating that he is an educated unemployed person and does not have any source of income. He further alleged that the respondent-wife is employed as a teacher in a Government School from where she earns Rs.30,000/- per month, as such, her income is sufficient to maintain herself. The Court below has very categorically recorded a finding that no documentary evidence has been filed by the appellant in support of his contention that the respondent is a teacher and she earns around Rs.30,000/- per month. After considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court below awarded Rs.2000/- towards maintenance pendente lite and Rs.5000/- lump sum for litigation expenses in favour of the respondent.
Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and keeping in mind the spiraling inflation rate and high cost of living index, we are of the opinion that Rs.2000/- towards maintenance pendente lite and Rs.5000/- lump sum for litigation expenses can not be treated to be on a higher side.
The appellant being a husband of the opposite party, even if he is not in any employment, is morally bound to discharge his legal obligation of maintaining his wife and his children in any circumstances. The husband can not 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 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 wife and children arises, the presumption would be easily permissible against the husband and the obligation of the husband is on a higher pedestal.
The court below has given cogent, convincing and satisfactory reasons while awarding the maintenance and legal expenses. Reasons mentioned therein are good enough to satisfy the impugned order and no fault can be found with the approach adopted by the court below which may warrant any interference.
The appeal lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.
Order Date :- 20.1.2020