SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation

Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Jaspreet Singh vs Gurleen Kaur on 6 January, 2020

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
AT CHANDIGARH

CRM-M-36522 – 2019 (O M)
Date of Decision : 06.01.2020

Jaspreet Singh ……….Petitioner
Versus

Gurleen Kaur ……..Respondent

CORAM : Hon’ble Mr. Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill

Present : Mr. Naveen Bawa, Advocate, for the petitioner.
Mr. Jaideep Verma, Advocate, for the respondent.

* * * * *

Gurvinder Singh Gill, J.

1. The petitioner Jaspreet Singh (husband) seeks setting aside of order dated

25.07.2019 (Annexure P-4), passed by Additional Principal Judge, Family

Courts, Ludhiana, whereby his application seeking issuance of a direction

to respondent(wife) to comply with the order dated 23.10.2018 has been

dismissed.

2. The relevant facts may, briefly, be stated chronologically as follows:

20.8.2015 : An application under Section 125 Cr.P.C. was filed by
respondent(wife) seeking maintenance from
petitioner(husband).

23.10.2018 : During the pendency of the aforesaid application, the
petitioner Jaspreet Singh moved an application seeking
issuance of a direction to be issued to respondent-wife for

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admission or denial of certain facts as regards period of her
employment since she had taken a different stand in her
transfer application, filed in the High Court. The trial Court
vide order dated 23.10.2018, issued a direction to
respondent wife to clarify the facts pertaining to the period
when she had been working and as to when she had left the
job and for the said purpose she was directed to appear
before the Court and to get her statement recorded to the
said effect or to file an affidavit in respect of the same.

25.7.2019 : Since the respondent wife neither filed any affidavit nor
furnished the requisite information as regards period of her
employment as had been specifically directed vide order
dated 23.10.2018, the petitioner moved an application
before trial Court seeking issuance of a direction to the
respondent either to make a statement in this regard or to
furnish an affidavit for compliance of order dated
23.10.2018. However the trial Court, vide impugned order
dated 25.07.2019, dismissed the said application.

3. I have heard the learned counsel for the parties and have also perused the

impugned order as well as order dated 23.10.2018. The relevant extract

from order dated 23/10/2018 wherein certain directions were issued to

respondent wife reads as follows:

“Consequently, in the interest of justice, for the purpose of
proper adjudication of the case, this Court finds it necessary
to direct the respondent to clarify the facts pertaining to the
same by specifying the dates as to when she was working,
when she left the job, her date of filing of transfer application
and the present petition. For the said purpose petitioner is
directed to appear before the Court and get her statement
recorded to that effect or to file an affidavit in lieu of the
same (alternatively). The application is accordingly, disposed

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of.”

4. Since the aforesaid order was not complied with by the respondent wife,

the petitioner moved an application before the trial Court seeking

issuance of a directions to respondent wife to comply with order dated

23.10.2018. However, the said application was dismissed vide impugned

order dated 25.07.2019, the operative portion of which reads as follows:

“I have heard learned counsel for both the parties.
Witness is present to face cross-examination. Once
witness is present and is ready to face cross-
examination, she cannot be directed to file fresh
affidavit at the instance of the opposite party. The
applicant/respondent is directed to put the relevant
document for the purpose in the cross-examination of
witness for confrontation. The application is
accordingly dismissed.”

5. Having perused the impugned order dated 25.07.2019, this Court is of the

opinion that the trial Court fell in error in dismissing the application

inasmuch as the facts do not show that directions issued on 23.10.2018

had been complied with as neither any affidavit had been filed nor any

specific statement of the respondent-wife in this regard had been

recorded. The fact that the respondent wife was present for the purpose of

her cross-examination in respect of her examination-in-chief recorded

earlier cannot be said to be compliance of order dated 23.10.2018. The

respondent, in order to comply with directions issued on 23.10.2018 was

required to state specifically regarding the period of employment.

Needless to mention, such statement can be said to be complete only after

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the opposite side is afforded an opportunity to cross-examine her in

respect of such statement.

6. Consequently, the view taken by the trial Court that presence of

respondent-wife for her cross-examination, without having recorded her

specific statement as regards period of her employment as had been

mandated in order dated 23.10.2018, would be sufficient compliance of

direction dated 23.10.2018 cannot be upheld. The impugned order dated

25.7.2019(Annexure P-4), is, thus, set aside and respondent wife is

directed to comply with order dated 23.10.2018 either by way of

furnishing an affidavit as regards the material facts in respect of period of

her employment or to get her statement recorded specifically in this

regard with liberty to the petitioner to cross-examine the respondent in

respect of her such deposition. In case the respondent does not comply

with order dated 23.10.2018 within one month from today or within such

period as may be specified by trial Court, it shall be open to the trial

Court to draw adverse inference against the respondent-wife in respect of

the period of employment.

7. Before parting with this judgement, this Court, based on the factual

position in the present case and having come across numerous other

identical matters while handling cases pertaining to “Crime against

Women”, would observe that invariably there is colossal delay in disposal

of cases pertaining to maintenance. In the present case itself the

application under Section 125 Cr PC has been pending since the year

2015 i.e. since last more than four years. Although, in the present case, it

may be the wife herself who can be said to have contributed to the delay

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in disposal of the petition, but in a large number of cases it is noticed

delays occur on account of the fact that the hapless wife is left fending for

herself collecting documents and evidence as regards financial status of

her husband so as to seek appropriate maintenance.

8. The maintenance is certainly not to be awarded as a punitive measure but

is to serve social cause to prevent the wife from being forced into

vagrancy. Whenever the Courts are faced with the task of assessing the

quantum of maintenance to be awarded to the wife, the income and

resources of her husband are required to be assessed in order to reach at a

just figure regarding compensation. While determining the quantum of

maintenance, the Court has to be aware not just about the income of the

parties but also as regards the social status enjoyed by them. At times it

becomes a difficult task to assess the income in view of the fact that in

many cases the spouse may not be working on salaried job or may be self-

employed or working in an unorganised sector or running his own

business and wherein it is generally noticed that there is a tendency to

conceal the correct income so as to avoid paying income tax. In such a

scenario, the Court can make an attempt by resorting to some kind of

guesswork based on the comforts and luxuries enjoyed by the husband

which could include information of the following nature:

(i) the number and kind of vehicles being used by the husband,
whether self-owned or by family or company;

(ii) the kind of phones being maintained by him;

(iii) the credit cards/debit cards and their statements;

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(iv) details of foreign visits or holiday excursions within India;

(v) kind of electrical/electronic gadgetary being used in the
household;

(vi) details of EMIs/ loan instalments being paid;

(viii) details of investments.

9. However, since it is the husband who would be having domain over the

documents which could furnish information on aforesaid aspects, the

wife is left virtually helpless, being bereft of requisite information

required for assessing maintenance. More often than not, even in cases

where the husband happens to be employed in government service and

who cannot possibly conceal his income, the wife is constrained to seek

information as regards salary by way of filing application under RTI

regarding his salary. In some cases, the wife would be constrained to

approach the revenue authorities seeking information regarding the land

held by the husband or approach authorities concerned to get his income

tax returns, which for a hapless wife is a herculean task, particularly if

there is none else in her family to pursue her case. Such exercise leads not

only in delays in disposal of application for maintenance but at times

justice cannot be dispensed for want of proper information. Repeated

adjournments by the Courts to enable the parties to adduce evidence

would tax the system unnecessarily which is already fighting backlogs.

10. Although, exclusive Family Courts have been established specifically for

such purpose which would be handling cases under section 125 Cr PC

and also applications moved under Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act

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during the pendency of matrimonial litigation amongst the parties but the

Courts at times seem to be over obsessed with the broad principle that it is

the petitioner/plaintiff who has to stand on his own legs and to establish

his case. There certainly can be no dispute as regards the said proposition

of law. There are certainly such issues which the petitioner/party would

himself/herself be required to establish – say a case where the relationship

itself is disputed or where the assertion that the spouse is living in

adultery is to be established. Such facts essentially have to be proved by

the party asserting the existence of such facts. However, the facts which a

party cannot possibly dispute – say a case where the husband is working

in some government office or even in some private establishment where

he is getting a fixed salary and is also assessed to income tax or is having

rental income in respect of which he is paying income tax or where he is

owner of a certain property in his own name, should be disclosed by such

party itself rather than the opposite party being forced to collect evidence

in respect of the same from various offices i.e. from the employer, from

revenue authorities, from bank, from municipal committee etc.

11. Forcing a party to collect information in aforesaid manner results in

delays which is against the spirit of the legislation in question. The

legislators, realising the urgency in such matters have provided for a time-

frame of 60 days during which such applications are supposed to be

disposed off. The relevant provisions of various Acts are reproduced

below:

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Section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code.

125. Order for maintenance of wives, children and parents. –

(1) If any person having sufficient means neglects or refuses to
maintain –

(a) his wife, unable to maintain herself, or

(b) x x x

(c) x x x

(d) x x x

Provided that … … … x x x

Provided further that …. … …. x x x

Provided also that an application for the monthly allowance for the
interim maintenance and expenses of proceeding under the second
proviso shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within sixty days
from the date of the service of notice of the application to such
person. ( emphasis supplied )

Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act :

24. Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings .Where
in any proceeding under this Act it appears to the Court that either
the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent
income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses
of the proceeding, it may, on the application of the wife or the
husband, order the respondent to pay to the petitioner the expenses
of the proceeding, and monthly during the proceeding such sum as,
having regard to the petitioners own income and the income of the
respondent, it may seem to the Court to be reasonable:

[Provided that the application for the payment of the expenses of
the proceeding and such monthly sum during the proceeding,
shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within sixty days from the
date of service of notice on the wife or the husband, as the case
may be.] ( emphasis supplied )

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Section 12 of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,
2005

12. Application to Magistrate .

(1) An aggrieved person or a Protection Officer or any other person on
behalf of the aggrieved person may present an application to the
Magistrate seeking one or more reliefs under this Act:

Provided that …. …. ….

(2) x x x

(3) x x x

(4) The Magistrate shall fix the first date of hearing, which shall not
ordinarily be beyond three days from the date of receipt of the
application by the Court.

(5) The Magistrate shall endeavour to dispose of every application
made under sub-section (1) within a period of sixty days from
the date of its first hearing. ( emphasis supplied )

12. In tune with the aforesaid provisions prescribing for time-bound disposal

of such matters, special provisions have also been incorporated in Family

Courts Act, 1984, providing for admission of relevant evidence, which

read as follows:

Section 10 of Family Courts Act 1984 :

10. Procedure generally .

(1) x x x

(2) x x x

(3) Nothing in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall prevent a
Family Court from laying down its own procedure with a view to
arrive at a settlement in respect of the subject-matter of the suit or
proceedings or at the truth of the facts alleged by the one party
and denied by the other. (emphasis supplied)

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Section 14 of Family Courts Act 1984 :

14. Application of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 .

A Family Court may receive as evidence any report, statement,
documents, information or matter that may, in its opinion, assist it
to deal effectually with a dispute, whether or not the same would
be otherwise relevant or admissible under the Indian Evidence
Act, 1872 (1 of 1872). (emphasis supplied)

13. Even as per Section 28(2) of Protection of Women from Domestic

Violence Act, 2005, liberty has been granted to trial Court to devise its

own procedure for expeditious disposal of applications filed under section

12 of the Act. Section 28 reads as follows:

28. Procedure .

(1) Save as otherwise provided in this Act, all proceedings under
sections 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 and offences under section
31 shall be governed by the provisions of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).

(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall prevent the Court from laying
down its own procedure for disposal of an application under
section 12 or under sub-section (2) of section 23. (emphasis
supplied )

14. A perusal of aforesaid provisions in the Acts dealing with matrimonial

litigation makes it evident that not only the mandate of legislation is

expeditious disposal of matrimonial litigation particularly applications

seeking maintenance but certain provisions especially for Family Courts

have been made as regards procedure and admissibility of evidence to

facilitate speedy disposal of applications for grant of maintenance.

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15. Faced with an identical problem of delays, Delhi High Court has issued

certain directions to the trial Court handling such kind of cases so as to

insist upon the parties to furnish the requisite information in the nature of

affidavits in prescribed format. The first judgement in this regard was

rendered in Puneet Kaur versus Inderjit Singh Sahney 2011(30)

RCR(Civil) 271, wherein the parties were directed to furnish affidavits as

a regards their assets, income and expenditure.

16. The directions as issued an aforesaid judgement were reiterated by Delhi

High Court in another judgement and were modified from time to time in

case titled Kusum Sharma versus Narinder Kumar Sharma which were

examined by Delhi High Court on 3 different occasions. The said

judgements are listed below chronologically:

Sr Title of Case Date of Citation Gist of relevant directions issued in the
No Judgment judgment
1 Puneet Kaur 12.9.2011 2011(30) Both the parties were directed to furnish
RCR(Civil)
Versus

page 271 affidavits as a regards their assets, income
Inderjit Singh
Sawhney and expenditure including details of salary,

rental income, income from other resources,

bank deposits, investments, properties held or

sold, jewellery, household gadgets, credit

cards, club membership etc. accompanied by

supporting documents detailed therein.

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2 Kusum Sharma 18.9.2014 2015(5) Directions were issued that henceforth all
RCR(Civil)
Versus petitions including petitions under Sections 9
page 75
Mahinder to 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act shall be
Kumar Sharma

accompanied by an affidavit of assets,
income and expenditure of the petitioner in
terms of the directions issued in Puneet
Kaur's case(supra).

The response to the such affidavit of assets,
income and expenditure was be filed within
two weeks thereafter and the case to be listed
for disposal of the application under Section
24 of the Hindu Marriage Act.

It was further directed that the aforesaid
procedure shall be followed in all cases
relating to maintenance under Hindu
Marriage Act, Protection of Women from
Domestic Violence Act, Hindu Adoption and
Maintenance Act as well as Section 125
Cr.P.C.

3 Kusum Sharma 14.1.2015 2015(5) The directions issued earlier in judgment
RCR(Civil)
Versus dated 18.9.2014 were slightly modified. A
page 467
Mahinder format of "Affidavit of assets, income and
Kumar Sharma
Expenditure" was formulated, forming part
of the judgement as Annexure 'A'. The
documents required to be annexed with
affidavit were also detailed therein. It was,
thus, directed that the affidavit should be
filed in prescribed format only.

4 Kusum Sharma 29.5.2017 2017(241) The format of the Affidavits required to be
DLT 252 filed by the parties as prescribed in Annexure
Versus
'A' in accordance with earlier directions
Mahinder issued on 14.1.2015 was modified and fresh
Kumar Sharma format of affidavits was circulated as
Annexure 'A-1'.

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5 Kusum Sharma 6.12.2017 2018(246) The directions issued earlier were slightly
DLT 1 modified and it was clarified that it shall not
Versus

be mandatory to file the requisite affidavits
Mahinder along with the petition and written statement,
Kumar Sharma but the same are required to be filed
simultaneously by the parties immediately
after the completion of the pleadings.

It was further clarified that the Courts would
be at liberty to determine the nature and
extent of information/documents necessary
and shall direct the parties to disclose such
relevant information and documents to
determine their true income.

It was further clarified that in appropriate
cases, such as the cases belonging to the
lowest strata of the society or case of a
litigant who is a permanently disabled/
paralytic, the Court may, for reasons to be
recorded, dispense with the requirement of
the filing of the affidavit or modify the
information required.

17. The modified format of "Affidavit of assets, income and expenditure", as

incorporated in judgement dated 6.12.2017 in case titled Kusum Sharma

Versus Mahinder Kumar Sharma 2018(246) DLT 1, is reproduced below:

" ANNEXURE - A1

(FORMAT OF AFFIDAVIT OF ASSETS, INCOME AND
EXPENDITURE TO BE FILED BY THE BOTH PARTIES)

AFFIDAVIT

I __, son of/wife of _,
aged about _ years, resident of , do
hereby solemnly declare and affirm as under:

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PART - I

PERSONAL INFORMATION RELATING TO THE DEPONENT

S.No. Description Particulars

1. Name

2. Age

3. Residential Address

4. E-mail Address

5. Date of marriage

6. Date of separation

7. Educational qualifications

8. Professional qualifications

9. Occupation

10. Monthly income (as mentioned at serial no.45)

11. Monthly expenditure (as mentioned at serial no.60)

12. Whether you are assessed to Income Tax?

13. Whether you have sufficient income to support yourself?

14. If not, whether you have claimed maintenance from your spouse? If
so, how much?

15. Whether you are staying at matrimonial home?

16. If not staying at matrimonial home, relationship and income of the
person with whom you are staying.

17. Members of the family:

(a) Dependent

(b) Non-dependent

18. Whether your spouse has claimed maintenance from you? If so, how
much?

19. Whether you have voluntarily paid or willing to pay maintenance to
your spouse? If so, how much?

20. Whether you are willing to pay litigation expenses to your spouse? If
so, how much?

21. Particulars of pending litigation between the parties

22. Whether any maintenance order has been passed by any Court? If so,
give particulars and attach copy of the order?

23. Whether the maintenance is being paid in terms of the aforesaid
order? If so, file the statement of maintenance paid upto date

24. Expenses incurred on this litigation

25. Particulars of the bank account with name and address of the bank for
the purpose of payment from or receipt of maintenance, as the case
may be

26. Name of your counsel and his/her mobile number and e-mail address

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PART - II

RELEVANT INFORMATION RELATING TO THE SPOUSE

27. Educational and professional qualifications of your spouse

28. Whether your spouse was/is earning? If so, give particulars of the occupation and income of
your spouse.

29. Whether your spouse is staying at matrimonial home. If not, whether he/she is staying at
his/her own accommodation or at a rented accommodation?

If staying at a rented accommodation, what is the rent being paid by him/her?

30. Particulars of the assets and liabilities of your spouse

31. Do you have any documents relating to the income, assets and expenditure of your spouse? If
so, give the particulars and attach copies thereof?

PART - III

RELEVANT INFORMATION RELATING TO THE CHILDREN

32. Children from the marriage with their name and age

33. Who has the custody of the minor children

34. Name and address of school(s) where the children are studying

35. Who is bearing the expenditure of Children's education

36. How much expenditure has been incurred on the children's
maintenance and children's education from the date of separation till
now?

37. If the children are in custody of your spouse, whether you have
voluntarily paid or willing to pay the expenses for the children's
maintenance and education? If so, how much?

38. Details of expenditure on children Amount (in Rs.)

(i) School/College fees

(ii) Crech/Day Care/After school care

(iii) Books/Stationery

(iv) Private Tuitions

(v) Pocket Money/Allowances

(vi) Sports

(vii) Outings/summer camps/vacations

(viii) Entertainment

(ix) Others

39. Total Expenditure

(Give monthly expenditure)

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PART-IV

STATEMENT OF INCOME

S. Description Particulars
No.

40. In case of salaried persons:

(i) Designation

(ii) Name and address of the employer

(iii) Date of employment

(iv) Gross Income including the salary, D.A., commissions/incentives,
bonus, perks etc.

(v) Perquisites and other benefits provided by the employer including
accommodation, cars/other automotive, sweeper, gardener, watchman
or personal attendant, gas, electricity, water, interest free or
concessional loans, holiday expenses, free or concessional travel, free
meals, free education, gifts, vouchers, etc. credit card expenses, club
expenses, use of movable assets by employees, transfer of assets to
employees, value of any other benefit/amenity/service/privilege and
the value of such perquisites and benefits

(vi) Deductions from the gross income

(vii) Income Tax paid

(viii) Net income

(ix) Value of stock option benefits if provided by the employer

(x) Pension and retirement benefits payable at the time of retirement

41. In case of self-employed persons:

(i) Nature of business/profession

(ii) Whether the business/profession is carried on as an individual,
sole proprietorship concern, partnership concern, company or
association of persons, HUF, joint family business or in any other
form. Give particulars of your share in the business/ profession. In
case of partnership, specify the share in the profit/losses of the
partnership

(iii) Number of employees

(iv) Annual turnover/gross receipts

(v) Gross Profit

(vi) Net Income

(vii) Income Tax

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(viii) Details and value of benefits in kind, perks or other
remuneration e.g. provision of car, payment of accommodation etc

(ix) Amount of regular monthly withdrawal or drawings

42. In case the business/profession is carried on as a Partnership
Firm/Company:

(i) Registered/Corporate Office of the firm/company

(ii) Information and particulars with regard to your shareholding,
involvement in the affairs and management of the firm/company

(iii) Director's/ Partner's remuneration :-

(a) Salary

(b) Interest

(c) Rent

(d) Commission

(e) Others

(iv) List of all the bank accounts of the firm/company

(v) Location of the statutory records and books of account of the
firm/company.

(vi) List of immovable assets, land and building etc. of the
firm/company.

(vii) Number of workmen/employees

(viii) Current value of your business interest(s)

(ix) Current value of your business assets

(x) List of directorships held, sitting fees, commission or any other
remuneration

(xi) Net worth of the company in which you are Director along with
the number of shares held in the Company

43. Income from Other Sources:

(i) Agricultural Income

(ii) Rent

(iii) Interest on bank deposits and FDRs

(iv) Interest on investments including deposits, NSC, IVP, KVP, Post
Office schemes, PPF, loans etc.

(v) Dividends

(vi) Mutual Funds

(vii) Annuities

(viii) Lease of machinery, plant or furniture

(ix) Sale of movable/immovable assets

(x) Gifts

44. Any other income not covered above

45. TOTAL INCOME

(Give monthly income)

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PART V

STATEMENT OF EXPENDITURE

S. Description Amount(in Rs.)
No.

46.   Housing                         (i) Monthly rent

(ii) Mortgage payment(s)

(iii) Repairs Maintenance

(iv) Property tax

47. Household expenditure (i) Groceries/Food
items/Personal care/clothing

(ii) Water

(iii) Electricity

(iv) Gas

(v) Telephone/Mobile
(vi) TV Cable/Set-top Box
charges Internet services
(vii) Maintenance,
replacement and repair of
household items, appliances
and kitchenware.

(viii) Telephone
(ix) Domestic full time/part
time helper(s)

(x) Others (specify)

48. Maintenance of Dependents (i) Parents
(ii) Children (as mentioned at
serial no.39)

(iii) Others

49. Transport (i) Private Transport

(a) Driver(s)

(b) Fuel

(c) Repair/Maintenance

(d) Insurance

(e) Loan repayment

(ii) Public Transport

(a) Bus

(b) Taxi

(c) Metro

(d) Auto

50. Medical expenditure (i) Doctor's Charges

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(iii) Hospital

(iv) Other medical expenditure

(v) Others (specify)

51. Insurance (i) Life

(ii) Annuity

(iii) Householders

(iv) Medi-Claim

52. Entertainment and recreation (i) Club

(ii) Health Club

(iii) Gym

53. Holiday and vacations

54. Gifts

55. Legal/litigation expenses

56. Discharge of Liabilities (i) Credit card(s) payment

(ii) Hire purchase/lease

(iii) Repayment of Loans

(a) House loan

(b) Car loan

(c) Personal loan

(d) Business loan

(e) Any other loan

(iv) Name of the lenders

(v) Mode of repayment

(vi) Instalment amount

(vii) Other personal liabilities

57. Miscellaneous (i) Newspapers, magazines,
books
(ii) Religious
contributions/Charities

(iii) Others (specify)

58. Pocket Money/Allowance

59. Other expenditure
(Not specified above)

60. TOTAL EXPENDITURE
(Give monthly expenditure)

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PART - VI
STATEMENT OF ASSETS
S. Assets List of Assets
No.
At the time of At the time Present
marriage of Present
Separation Estimated
Market
Value

61. Real Estate Including

(i) Land

(ii) Built up properties

(iii) Lease hold properties

(iv) Agricultural land

(v) Investment in real estate such as booking of
plots, flats and other immovable properties in
your name or in joint names.

(vi) Other properties
Note 1. : - List your interest in properties,
including lease hold interest and mortgages,
whether or not you are registered as owner.
Note 2. : - Provide legal descriptions and indicate
estimated market value of your interest without
deducting encumbrances or costs of disposition.
(Record encumbrances under debts.)

62. Joint Properties

(i) Properties presented at or about the time of
marriage, which belong jointly to both the
husband and wife. Give the status of their
possession.

(ii) Other joint properties of the parties. Give the
status of their possession.

(iii) Whether any litigation pending with respect
to the joint property? If so, give particulars.

63. Liquid Assets: Account Name of Current
Number Bank Balance

(i) Details of all bank accounts including Current, (i)
Savings and Demat Accounts in your name, or
joint name and balance in the said account (ii)

(iii)

(iv)

(ii) Cash in Hand

64. Investments Particulars Current
Value

(i)Details of all investments you hold or, in which
you have interest and their current value:

a) FDRs, NSC, IVP, KVP, Post Office schemes,
PPF etc.

b) Deposits with Government and Non-

      Government entities

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c) Stocks, shares, debentures, bonds, units and
mutual funds, etc.

d) Life and endowment policies and surrender
value

e) Loan given to friends, relatives and others

f) Other investments not covered by above items

65. Pensions and Retirement Savings Plan Particulars Maturity
amount
Indicate name of institution where accounts are
held, name and address of pension plan and
pension details.

66. Corporate/Business Interests Particulars Current
value
List any interest you hold, directly or indirectly, in
any corporation, unincorporated business,
partnership, trust, joint venture and Association of
Persons, Society etc.

67. Movable Assets Particulars Current
value

(i) Motor Vehicles (List cars, motorcycles,
scooters etc. along with their brand and
registration number)

(ii) Livestock

(iii) Mobile phone(s)

(iv) Computer/Laptop

(v) Other electronic gadgets including I-pad etc.

(vi) TV, Fridge, Air Conditioner, Microwave,
Washing machine, etc.

(vii) Other household and kitchen appliances

(viii) Quantity of gold, silver and diamond
jewellery

(ix) Quantity of Silver Utensils

68. Intangible properties
Including patents, trademark, copyright design
and goodwill and their value

69. About disposal of properties Particulars Present
Estimated
market
value
Particulars of properties (movable as well as
immovable) sold/agreed to be sold between the
date of marriage till the date of filing of this
affidavit and the sale consideration received from
the purchaser

70. Others Particulars Estimated
current
value
List anything else of value that you own,
including precious metals, collections, works of
art, jewellery or household items of high value.
Include location of safety deposit lockers.

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PART - VII
STATEMENT OF LIABILITIES
S. Description Particulars Current
No. of Debts Value

71. Secured debt(s)

List all mortgages, loans, and any other debts secured against an
asset

72. Unsecured Debt(s)
List all bank loans, personal loans, credits, overdrafts, credit cards
and any other debts

73. Other
List any other debts, including obligations that are relevant to claim

PART - VIII
GENERAL INFORMATION RELATING TO THE STATUS,
STANDARD OF LIVING AND LIFESTYLE
S. Description Particulars
No.

74. Particulars of residential accommodation where your are presently staying
(in sq. feet)

75. Who is the owner of the residential accommodation? In case of rented
accommodation, specify the monthly rent

76. Number of part-time/full time domestic helpers and their wages

77. Average monthly withdrawal from bank(s)

78. Mode of travel in city/outside city

79. Membership of clubs/health clubs/gyms, societies and other associations.

Specify the membership fee and subscription

80. Particulars of credit/debit card(s), its limit and usage

81. Particulars of frequent flier cards

82. Frequency of foreign travel, business as well as personal

83. Category of hotels ordinarily used for stay, official as well as personal

84. Category of hospitals opted for medical treatment including type of rooms

85. Brand of vehicle, mobile and wrist watch, pen, sunglasses, wallet/bags.

86. Expenditure ordinarily incurred on family functions including birthday of the
children

87. Expenditure ordinarily incurred on festivals

88. Expenditure incurred on marriage of family members

89. Status of the deponent and his/her family:

- High

- Upper Middle

- Middle

- Lower Middle

- Low

- Below poverty line

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PART - IX
DOCUMENTS RELATING TO ASSETS, INCOME AND EXPENDITURE

PART A
DOCUMENTS RELATING TO PERSONAL INFORMATION

S.No. Description

1. Ration Card

2. Voter ID Card

3. Aadhar Card

4. Driving Licence

5. PAN Card

6. Passport

PART B
DOCUMENTS RELATING TO INCOME, ASSETS AND LIABILITIES

S. Description Please Tick
No.

Attached Not Applicable To follow

7. Statement of Account of all bank accounts including
current, savings and Demat accounts for last 3 years

8. Income Tax Return(s) along with Statement of Income
and Annexures for last 3 years

9. In case of Salaried Persons

(i) Appointment letter along with salary structure at
time of appointment.

(ii) Last Salary Slip

(iii) Forms 16, 16A, 12BA 26AS

(iv) Cost to Company Certificate and CIBIL Certificate,
wherever applicable

(v) Copies of TDS certificates

10. In case of self-employed persons

(i) Balance Sheet and Profit Loss Account

(ii) Balance Sheet and Profit Loss Account of the
proprietorship firm, if the business is carried on in the
name of a sole proprietorship concern

(iii) Balance Sheet and Profit Loss Account of the
partnership firm, if the deponent is a partner in a firm
along with the Schedule showing the distribution of
partners' remuneration and share of profits/losses of the
partnership firm and the copy of the partnership deed

(iv) Balance Sheet and Profit Loss Account of the
Company in which the deponent is a Director

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(v) Balance Sheet and Profit Loss Account of the
Association of Persons, HUF, Joint Family business or
trust in which the deponent has share

(vi) Copy of account of the deponent in the books of
the business

(vii) Copies of TDS certificates

11. In case of Income from other sources:

(i) Lease Deed(s)/Rent Agreement(s) /Licence
Agreement(s) in respect of the rental income

(ii) Interest Certificate in respect of the interest income
on deposits and investments

(iii) Dividend Certificates in respect of dividend
income

(iv) Demat holding Statement

(v) Sale Deed(s)/transfer documents in respect of the
profit on sale of property/properties

12. Other relevant documents relating to Income/Assets

13. Other relevant documents relating to liabilities

PART C
DOCUMENTS RELATING TO EXPENDITURE

14. (i)Documents relating to the expenditure on education
of children including tuition fees

(ii) Rent and maintenance receipts

(iii) Electricity, water, security and gas bills

(iv) Documents relating to the salary paid to the
employees including domestic helper(s)

(v) Documents relating to expenditure on conveyance

(vi) Debit and Credit Card statements of all cards

(vii) Frequent Flier's Card statements

(viii) Mobile and landline phone bills

(ix) Internet and TV cable/Set - Top Box bills

(x) Documents relating to the repayment of the loans

(xi) PPF, EPF and other superannuation fund receipts

(xii) Receipts of premium of insurance policies

(xiii) Receipts of payments in respect of mutual funds

(xiv) Documents relating to payment of interest on
bank and other loans

(xv) Documents relating to the payment of taxes,
including Income Tax and Property Tax

(xvi) Other relevant documents relating to Expenditure

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Declaration:

1. I solemnly declare and affirm that I have made full and accurate voluntary
disclosure of my income, expenditure, assets and liabilities from all
sources. I further declare and affirm that I have no assets, income,
expenditure and liabilities other than set out in this affidavit.

2. I undertake to inform this Court immediately upon any material change in
my employment, assets, income, expenditure or any other information
included in this affidavit.

3. I understand that any false statement made in this affidavit may constitute
an offence under Section 199 read with sections 191 and 193 of the IPC
punishable with imprisonment upto seven years and fine, and section 209
of Indian Penal Code punishable with imprisonment upto two years and
fine. I have read and understood Sections 191, 193, 199 and 209 of the
Indian Penal Code.

Verification :

Verified at on this _ day of __ that the
contents of the above affidavit relating to my assets, income and
expenditure are true to my knowledge, no part of it is false and nothing
material has been concealed therefrom, whereas the contents of the above
affidavit relating to the assets, income and expenditure of my spouse are
based on information believed to be true. I further verify that the copies of
the documents filed along with the affidavit are true copies of the
originals.

DEPONENT "

18. The directions issued by Delhi High Court in respect of filing of

"Affidavits of assets, income and expenditure", initially on 18.09.2014 in

Kusum Sharma's case(supra) were modified from time to time pursuant to

responses and suggestions received from various quarters including the

trial Courts handling matrimonial matters. The directions, as modified in

judgement dated 6.12.2017 reported as 2018(246) DLT 1 Kusum

Sharma vs. Mahinder Kumar Sharma read as follows:

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" Modified Directions Dated 6th December, 2017

1. The affidavit of assets, income and expenditure of both the parties is
useful to determine the income of the parties in all matrimonial cases.
Applying the principles laid down in section 10(3) of the Family Courts
Act, 1984 read with section 165 of the Indian Evidence Act, relating to
the duty of the Court to ascertain the truth and section 106 of the Indian
Evidence Act relating to the duty of the parties to disclose their income,
this Court has formulated the format of the affidavit of assets, income
and expenditure attached hereto as 'Annexure A1'. The documents
required to be filed along with the affidavit are prescribed in the format
of the affidavit.

2. The affidavit of assets, income and expenditure is to be treated as
guidelines to determine the true income of the parties. The Courts is at
liberty to determine the nature and extent of information/documents
necessary and shall direct the parties to disclose such relevant
information and documents to determine their true income. The Courts
are at liberty to pass appropriate directions as may be considered
necessary to do complete justice between the parties and in appropriate
cases, such as the cases belonging to the lowest strata of the society or
case of a litigant who is a permanently disabled/paralytic, the Court may,
for reasons to be recorded, dispense with the requirement of the filing of
the affidavit or modify the information required.

3. While formulating the affidavit - Annexure A1, this Court considered Best
International Practises mentioned in para 18 of the judgement dated 14th
January, 2015. However, this Court has only incorporated important
questions and documents though many more questions and documents
were considered, which would have complicated the affidavit and caused
inconvenience to the litigants. The Courts are at Modified Directions
dated 6th December, 2017 liberty to consider Best International
Practises mentioned in para 18 of the judgement dated 14th January,
2015 as the guidelines for seeking relevant information and documents.

4. Upon completion of the pleadings in the maintenance application, the
Court shall fix the date for reconciliation and direct the parties to file

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their affidavits of their assets, income and expenditure simultaneously at
the commencement of the reconciliation. It is clarified that the filing of
the affidavit of assets, income and expenditure is no more mandatory to
be filed along with the petition and the written statement, as directed
earlier. The Court shall also direct the party seeking maintenance to
produce the passbook of his/her savings bank account in which
maintenance can be deposited/transferred.

5. The Court shall simultaneously take on record the affidavit of assets,
income and expenditure of both the parties. If the affidavit of a party is
not accompanied with all the relevant documents, the Court may take the
affidavit on record and grant reasonable time to file the relevant
documents.

6. In the event of the failure of the reconciliation efforts, the Court shall
grant time to the parties to respond to the affidavit of the opposite party
and list the case for hearing on the maintenance application.

7. In pending cases of maintenance, the Court may direct the parties to file
the affidavit of their assets, income and expenditure, if the parties have
not already disclosed their true income.

8. If a party makes concealment or false statement in his/her affidavit, the
opposite party shall disclose the particulars of the same in his/her
response to the affidavit along with the material to show concealment or
false statement. The aggrieved party may seek permission of the Court to
serve interrogatories and seek production of relevant documents from the
opposite party under Order 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Modified
Directions dated 6th December, 2017.

9. The Court shall ensure that the filing of the affidavits by the parties is not
reduced to a mere ritual or a formality. Whenever the opposite party
discloses sufficient material to show concealment or false statement in
the affidavit, the Court may consider examining the deponent of the
affidavit under section 165 of the Evidence Act to elicit the truth. The
principles relating to the scope and powers of the Court under section
165 of the Evidence Act have been summarized in Ved Prakash
Kharbanda v. Vimal Bindal, (2013) 198 DLT 555 which may be referred
to. In appropriate cases, the Court may direct a party to file an
additional affidavit relating to his assets, income and expenditure at the

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time of marriage and/or one year before separation and/or at the time of
separation.

10. If the statements made in affidavit of assets, income and expenditure are
found to be incorrect, the Court shall consider its effect while fixing the
maintenance. However, an action under Section 340 Cr.P.C., 1973 is
ordinarily not warranted in matrimonial litigation till the decision of the
main petition.

11. At the time of issuing notice the maintenance application, the Court shall
consider directing the petitioner to deposit such sum, as the Court may
consider appropriate for payment to the respondent towards interim
litigation/part litigation expenses. However, in cases such as divorce
petition by the wife who unable to support herself and is claiming
maintenance from the respondent husband, it may not be appropriate to
direct the petitioner-wife to pay the litigation expenses to the respondent-
husband.

12. The interim litigation expenses directed by the Court at the stage of
issuing notice, does not preclude the respondent from seeking further
litigation expenses incurred by the respondent at a later stage. The Court
shall consider the respondent's claim for litigation expenses and pass an
appropriate order on the merits of each case. Modified Directions dated
6th December, 2017.

13. If the disposal of maintenance application is taking time and the delay is
causing hardship, ad-interim maintenance be granted to the claimant
spouse on the basis of admitted income of the respondent.

14. In respect of the claims of permanent alimony under section 25 of the
Hindu Marriage Act, the Court may direct the parties to file affidavits of
their assets, income and expenditure, if the same has not already been
filed by the parties.

15. The aforesaid directions/guidelines be followed in all matrimonial cases
including cases under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Protection of Women
From Domestic Violence Act, 2005 Section 125 Cr.P.C, Hindu Adoption
and Maintenance Act, 1956, Special Marriage Act, 1954, Indian Divorce
Act, 1869, Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 and Hindu Minority and
Guardianship Act, 1956."

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19. A perusal of the above reproduced format of "Affidavit of assets, income

and expenditure" would show that a very detailed and comprehensive

format has been prepared which virtually takes into account almost all the

possible sources of income. Apart from sources of income, the financial

status of a party can well be gauged from the expenditure incurred

by such party. The chances of reaching at a more accurate

assessment regarding the financial status are increased in case the proper

information regarding expenditure is there which could take care of a

situation where specific sources of income are not forthcoming. The

format 'Annexure A-1', reproduced above also defines the details of

expenditure which would normally be incurred by the parties.

20. Although in the first blush the aforesaid format may appear to be a bit too

comprehensive and detailed but it would certainly serve the purpose

effectively for which it has been prescribed. The learned counsel have

informed that pursuant to the directions issued by Delhi High Court

Kusum Sharma's case in the year 2014, the Family Courts in Delhi are

adhering to the practice of insisting upon the parties to furnish "Affidavits

of assets income and expenditure" and the said practice has yielded the

desired results.

21. The best practices should always be followed particularly if the same are

for furtherance of efficient and effective justice dispensation. Furnishing

of such affidavits would check the practice of playing "hide and seek"

game in such cases where an attempt is made by a party to conceal the

income and not come out with resources forcing the other party to make

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tiring efforts to collect information which would otherwise be readily

available with such party. Sometimes the information is such the

existence of which, a party can not even deny. As discussed above, the

Courts handling such matters, particularly Family Courts, are competent

to devise their own procedure for eliciting requisite information, though

of course within the broad framework of law.

22. Consequently, the following directions are issued to Family Courts in the

States of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh and also to

all Courts handling matrimonial litigation in the said states:

(i) the Courts shall insist upon the parties to furnish "Affidavit of
assets, income and expenditure" in the format reproduced above;

(ii) the Courts shall generally follow the directions issued in Kusum
Sharma's case, as have been reproduced above;

(iii) the Courts would be at liberty to modify the format and the
directions as may be deemed necessary in the facts and
circumstances of the case;

(iv) in exceptional cases, the Court may also dispense with the aforesaid
requirement of furnishing affidavits especially in cases where the
parties belong to the lowest strata of society and are absolutely not
likely to be possessed of the sources detailed in the format or where
the Court is of the opinion that directing the party to furnish such
affidavit would cause unnecessary inconvenience to the party and is
not likely to render any fruitful purpose;

(v) in case it is found that any of the party is making a deliberate
attempt to conceal vital information or is trying to mislead the
Court, then apart from the penal action which may be warranted on
account of such concealment/false statement, it shall be open to the

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Court to consider drawing an adverse inference against such party
if the conduct of such party so warrants;

(vi) these guidelines be followed in all matrimonial cases including
cases under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Protection of Women From
Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Section 125 Cr.P.C, Hindu Adoption
and Maintenance Act, 1956, Special Marriage Act, 1954, Indian
Divorce Act, 1869, Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 and Hindu
Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956.

(vii) the Courts concerned may also issue directions to the parties with
regard to filing of requisite affidavits even in pending cases in case
it is felt that the parties are not forthcoming with the requisite
information with regard to their sources of income;

(viii) the Courts would be competent to issue any direction at any stage
of the proceedings to any of the parties to elicit such information as
may be required to reach at a just decision in the matter pertaining
to award of maintenance;

(ix) in case it is found that requisite information as regards resources of
any of the parties is not forthcoming, the Courts could even
consider appointment of a local commissioner to visit the place of
abode or business of any of the parties so as to get an idea about the
standard of living and social status of the parties.

23. As already indicated above, the trial Courts concerned would be at liberty

to suitably modify any of the aforesaid directions for reaching at a just

decision and to achieve the underlying purpose of the beneficial

provisions of social legislation. The Registrar General of this Court shall

ensure that a copy of this judgement is conveyed to all the District and

Sessions Judges in States of Punjab and Haryana and also Union Territory

of Chandigarh who shall further circulate the same to all Judicial Officers

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working in their respective Sessions Divisions. A copy of this judgement

be also sent to the Director, Chandigarh Judicial Academy so as to apprise

the newly recruited Judicial Officers undergoing training, about the

aforesaid guidelines.

24. This Court appreciates the valuable assistance rendered in the matter by

both the learned counsel.

     06.01.2020                                     ( GURVINDER SINGH GILL)
Kamal JUDGE

Whether reasoned / speaking? Yes / No
Whether reportable? Yes / No

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