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Trilok Gehlot vs Baby @ Bhagwati Gehlot on 24 September, 2019

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
JODHPUR

D.B. Civil Misc. Appeal No. 2599/2019

Trilok Gehlot S/o Punamchand Gehlot, Aged About 37 Years, R/o
Ranisar Kuein Ke Paas, Ranisar Baas, Near Bungalow No. 44,
Bikaner.

—-Appellant
Versus
Baby @ Bhagwati Gehlot W/o Trilok, D/o Late Gopalram Panwar,
R/o Near Government School, Saamne Wali Gali Mein, Bikaner.

—-Respondent

For Appellant(s) : Mr. Muktesh Maheshwari with
Mr.Aidan Choudhary

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANGEET LODHA
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE VINIT KUMAR MATHUR

Judgment

24/09/2019

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

the order dated 21.8.19 passed by the Family Court No.1, Bikaner

in Civil Original Case No.73/18, 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. The appellant

has been directed to pay maintenance pendente lite a sum of

Rs.15,000/- per month to the respondent.

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

application under Section 24 of the Act of 1955, claiming

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maintenance pendente lite from the appellant a sum of Rs.1 lac

per month. The respondent averred in the application that she has

no source of income, whereas the appellant is running a Coaching

Institute and earning Rs.50 lacs per annum. That apart, he is

earning a sum of Rs.10 lacs by operating ‘Krishna Library’ and Rs.5

lacs by sale of firecrackers on the occasion of Deepawali.

3. The appellant denied that he is operating coaching institute

‘Krishna Classes’ and ‘Krishna Library’ as alleged. In the reply filed,

the appellant’s stand was that he has no source of income

whatsoever.

4. The respondent produced on record the advertisement issued

by ‘Krishna Classes’ and ‘Krishna Library’, showing that the

appellant is Director of the institute. The appellant did not produce

any documents in rebuttal. In this view of the matter, after due

consideration of the material on record, the Family Court

determined the maintenance pendente lite payable to the

respondent as Rs.15,000/- per month. However, for the period

from 6.8.18 to 31.7.19, the amount of maintenance payable was

determined at Rs.1 lac in lump sum and the appellant has been

directed to pay the maintenance a sum of Rs.15,000/- w.e.f.

1.8.19.

5. Learned counsel appearing for the appellant contended that

the Family Court has seriously erred in determining the amount of

maintenance payable at Rs.15,000/- per month without there

being any evidence on record showing that the appellant is earning

monthly income as alleged by the respondent. Learned counsel

submitted that on the basis of the advertisement and photographs,

the inference drawn by the Family Court regarding the income of

the appellant is ex facie perverse.

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6. We have considered the submissions of the learned counsel

and perused the material on record.

7. 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.

8. No hard and fast rule can be laid down for determination of

the amount of interim maintenance. It is pertinent to note that the

respondent had produced on record the advertisement and the

photographs showing that the appellant is the person operating the

coaching institute as also the library. It was not the case set out by

the appellant before the Family Court that the advertisement and

photographs produced on record mentioning his name as Director,

do not relate to him. No evidence whatsoever was produced by the

appellant to rebut the stand taken by the respondent or to

establish that the respondent has her own source of income.

9. In the considered opinion of this Court, on the basis of the

material on record, it can be safely concluded that if not Rs.1 lac

per month, undoubtedly the appellant must be earning a

reasonable income. Thus, in absence of any evidence regarding the

respondent having any adequate source of income, the amount of

maintenance pendente lite determined by the Family Court

appears to be just and proper and does not warrant any

interference by us in exercise of appellate jurisdiction.

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10. The appeal is therefore, dismissed.

(VINIT KUMAR MATHUR),J (SANGEET LODHA),J

54-Aditya/-

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