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Jitendar Kumar Balecha vs Chitra Arora on 22 January, 2020

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
JODHPUR
D.B. Civil Misc. Appeal No. 207/2020

Jitendar Kumar Balecha S/o Sh. Kailash Ratan Modi, Aged About
33 Years, B/c Balecha, R/o Shanti Bal Niketan, Gangashahar,
Bikaner.

—-Appellant
Versus
Chitra Arora W/o Jitendra Kumar Balecha, D/o Lt. Ashok Kumar
Jasusa, Behind Raj Vilas Colony, Bikaner.

—-Respondent

For Appellant(s) : Mr. Virendra Acharya
For Respondent(s) :

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANGEET LODHA

HON’BLE DR. JUSTICE PUSHPENDRA SINGH BHATI

Judgment

22/01/2020

1. This appeal is filed by the appellant assailing the legality of

the order dated 6.12.19 passed by the Family Court No.1, Bikaner

in Civil Misc. Petition No.83/18 (CIS No.477/18), whereby an

application preferred by the respondent under Section 24 of the

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (for short “the Act of 1955”) has been

allowed and the appellant is directed to pay maintenance pendente

lite to the respondent a sum of Rs.50,000/- for the period from

27.8.18 to 30.11.19 and further to pay Rs.10,000/- per month

w.e.f. 1.12.19.

2. The appellant filed a petition against the respondent seeking

divorce under the provisions of Section 13 of the Act of 1955.

During the pendency of the petition, the respondent filed an

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application under Section 24 of the Act of 1955, claiming

maintenance pendente lite from the appellant a sum of

Rs.50,000/- per month, litigation expenses Rs.11,000/- and

Rs.500/- for attending each date of hearing before the Family

Court.

3. The respondent averred in the application that she has no

source of income, whereas the appellant has various sources of

income. It was averred that the appellant is running a school,

wherein 1100 students are studying. That apart, he is also earning

from E-mitra kiosk being operated by him. According to the

respondent, the appellant is earning a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- per

month.

4. The appellant contested the application by filing a reply

thereto, taking the stand that he has no source of income and he

is totally dependent on his father.

5. On the basis of the material on record, the Family Court

arrived at the finding that respondent is working as Teacher in

Shanti Bal Niketan School. The Family Court opined that as a

Teacher, the appellant must be earning minimum 1,000/- per day

and thus, he has minimum income of Rs.30,000/- per month.

Accordingly, the maintenance pendente lite payable by the

appellant for the respondent herself and her minor daughter has

been determined by the Family Court as Rs.10,000/- per month.

Hence, this appeal.

6. Learned counsel appearing for the appellant fairly not

disputed that the appellant is working as Teacher in a private

school, however, it is submitted that his monthly salary is much

less than the salary determined by the Family Court. It is

submitted that the respondent-wife has left the company of the

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appellant without any reason and therefore, she is not entitled to

claim any maintenance under Section 24 of the Act.

7. We have considered the submissions of the learned counsel

and perused the material on record.

8. 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. However, n o hard and fast rule can

be laid down for determination of the amount of interim

maintenance.

9. It is pertinent to note that before the Family Court, the

respondent had taken the stand that he had no source of income

and he is dependent upon his father whereas, before this Court it

is not disputed that the appellant is working as Teacher in a private

school. Though, it is stated that the appellant is not earning

Rs.30,000/- per month as determined by the Family Court but, the

appellant has not fairly disclosed his actual monthly salary. It is

true that the income of the appellant from various sources as

pleaded was not established by any cogent evidence on record, but

on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the conclusion

drawn by the Family Court regarding the income of the appellant

keeping in view the job wherein he is engaged, cannot be said to

be capricious or perverse. The respondent deserting the appellant

cannot be a ground for denying maintenance under Section 24 of

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the Act. The respondent has responsibility to maintain her minor

daughter as well and thus, the amount of maintenance payable by

the appellant to the respondent during the pendency of the

petition a sum of Rs.10,000/- cannot be said to be excessive.

Further, it is noticed that instead of awarding maintenance for the

period from 27.8.18 to 30.11.19 @ Rs.10,000/- per month, only

Rs.50,000/- lump sum has been awarded and no amount has been

awarded for litigation expenses.

10. In this view of the matter, no case for interference by us in

exercise of appellate jurisdiction is made out.

11. The appeal is therefore, dismissed.

(DR.PUSHPENDRA SINGH BHATI),J (SANGEET LODHA),J
31-Aditya/-

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