IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
117 FAO-778-2019 (OM)
Date of Decision : 24.05.2019
Santosh Kumar Arjunahi
CORAM:HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE RAKESH KUMAR JAIN
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE HARNARESH SINGH GILL
Present: Mr. Munfaid Khan, Advocate for the appellant.
Harnaresh Singh Gill, J.
This appeal is directed against the order dated 11.10.2018 passed
by the learned Additional Principal Judge, Family Court, Faridabad,
whereby an application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
(for short ‘the Act’) filed by the respondent-wife in a pending petition under
Section 13 of the Act filed by the appellant-husband, has been allowed and
the appellant-husband has been directed to pay a sum of `4,000/- per month
to the respondent-wife towards maintenance of the school going children
and household expenses. Besides, the appellant-husband has been directed
to pay a sum of `4500/- to the respondent-wife towards litigation expenses.
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The factum of marriage and birth of two children is not disputed.
The appellant-husband has challenged the order passed by the learned trial
Court on the ground that on account of the physical and mental harassment
caused by the respondent-wife, the appellant went into depression,
rendering him jobless, whereas on the other hand the respondent-wife is a
graduate and earning `30,000/- per month from the tuitions given by her to
25-30 students. Still further, the impugned order has been assailed on the
ground that the respondent-wife and the children are living on the first floor
of her matrimonial home and therefore, she does not require any
maintenance for herself and the children.
We have heard learned counsel for the petitioner and do not find
any merit in the present appeal.
Perusal of the impugned order would show that a finding has been
recorded by the learned trial Court that as per her own admission, the
respondent-wife is giving tuitions to 6-7 students at home. It was further
admitted by her that her husband i.e. appellant is bearing the school fee
expenses and expenses towards uniform(s) etc. of the children besides the
electricity bills of the house. The appellant-husband had admitted that he
was running a Karyana shop in the premises owned by his parents. It was
further found that as the husband did not disclose his means of earning
except running of a karyana shop, non disclosure thereof, would not give
any liberty to him to escape his liability to maintain his wife and children.
Thus, having noticed the lifestyle and status of the parties, the learned trial
Court assessed the income of the appellant-husband between `12,000/- and
`15,000/- per month. Similarly considering the fact that the respondent-wife
had conceded that she was giving tuitions to the children at home, her
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monthly income was assessed to be between `3,000/- and `4,000/-. Thus,
taking into consideration the totality of the facts and circumstances,
balancing equitities, provable range of income of the husband, necessities of
the life and other necessities of the school going children, learned trial
Court has directed the appellant-husband to pay `4,000/- as maintenance
pendente lite “i.e. maintenance of the school going children and household
expenses” from the date of filing of the application till the disposal of the
divorce petition. Apart from the aforesaid amount, an amount of `4500/-
was awarded as litigation expenses.
In our opinion, grant of `4,000/- per month as maintenance of the
school going children and household expenses, is perfectly justified. Even if
the respondent-wife is earning `3,000/- to `4,000/- per month from the
tuitions, the same cannot be considered sufficient to maintain herself and
two school going children of the parties. Admittedly, except giving tuitions
at home, the respondent-wife is not possessed of any other means so as to
sustain herself and the minor school going children and to bear the
household expenses and the expenses of other necessities of life.
On the other hand, the appellant-husband is running a Karyana
shop and considering the fact that in these days even a daily wager would be
earning between `9,000 to `10,000 per month, the income from the shop of
the husband cannot be assessed lower than than that.
As per Section 24 of the Act, pending divorce proceedings, the
husband is liable to maintain his wife and children. He cannot escape this
liability merely alleging that the wife has caused mental agony and
harassment to him, especially when such aspects are yet to be adjudicated
upon by the learned trial Court, on the basis of the evidence.
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In view of the above, we do not find any merit in the present
appeal and the same is hereby dismissed.
( RAKESH KUMAR JAIN ) ( HARNARESH SINGH GILL )
Whether speaking/reasoned? Yes
Whether reportable? Yes
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