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Vandana vs Ankit Bhardwaj on 29 May, 2019

CR No.2900 of 2018 (OM) 1

105+235
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
AT CHANDIGARH

Civil Revision No.2900 of 2018 (OM)
Date of Decision: 29.05.2019

Vandana ……Petitioner

Vs

Ankit Bhardwaj ….Respondent

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE RAJ MOHAN SINGH

Present:Mr. Dilpreet Singh Takkar, Advocate
for the petitioner.

Mr. G.L. Bajaj, Advocate
for the respondent.

****

RAJ MOHAN SINGH, J.

CM No.12035-CII of 2019

For the reasons mentioned in the application, the same

is allowed. Accompanying document Annexure P-3 is taken on

record.

Main case

[1]. Petitioner has preferred this revision petition against the

order dated 13.12.2017 passed by the Addl. District Judge,

Jalandhar vide which the application filed by the petitioner under

Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act (for short ‘the Act’) was

dismissed.

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CR No.2900 of 2018 (OM) 2

[2]. Respondent filed a petition under Section 13 of the Act

for a decree of divorce. During pendency of the aforesaid

petition, petitioner filed an application under Section 24 of the

Act for the grant of maintenance pendente lite and litigation

expenses. The marriage took place between the parties on

29.10.2012 as per Hindu rites and ceremonies. Marriage was

cohabited, but no issue was born out of the wedlock.

[3]. The Addl. District Judge, Jalandhar vide the impugned

order dated 13.12.2017 dismissed the application for grant of

maintenance pendente lite, but allowed litigation expenses to

the tune of Rs.8,000/- in favour of the petitioner.

[4]. In the application under Section 24 of the Hindu

Marriage Act, the petitioner has pleaded that she is doing a job,

but her salary is not enough to meet out her expenses and she

is totally dependent upon her parents. She claimed that

respondent is involved in the business of manufacturing

banners and is owner of the shop from where he is operating

his business and he is earning more than Rs.1.5 lakhs per

month. Petitioner further claimed that she has right to live as per

status of her husband.

[5]. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that

petitioner started working after filing of the divorce petition. The

maintenance cannot be refused to the petitioner on the ground

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CR No.2900 of 2018 (OM) 3

that she was educated, professionally qualified and capable of

earning income. When the petitioner was not earning anything

at the time of filing of the petition under Section 13 of the Act,

interim maintenance can be granted as the husband/respondent

was capable to pay maintenance.

[6]. Learned counsel relied upon SectionManish Jain vs.

Akansha Jain, 2017(2) R.C.R. (Civil) 682 on the premise that

respondent cannot deny interim maintenance during pendency

of the divorce petition and the petitioner was not earning

anything at the time of filing of the divorce petition.

[7]. On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondent

submitted that the petitioner is also earning handsome salary

from M/s Akbar Travels of India Pvt. Ltd. Learned counsel by

relying upon SectionRajni vs. Rajbir Singh, 2018(5) R.C.R. (Civil) 798

contended that when both husband and wife are earning

independently, the petitioner-wife is not entitled to grant of any

maintenance pendente lite for herself.

[8]. Vide order dated 15.12.2018, learned counsel for the

parties were directed to file prima facie material in respect of

monthly income of the parties. Learned counsel for the

petitioner undertook to produce salary slip of the petitioner,

whereas learned counsel for the respondent undertook to

produce income tax returns of the respondent.

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CR No.2900 of 2018 (OM) 4

[9]. Learned counsel for the petitioner has produced salary

certificate issued by the M/s Akbar Travels of India Pvt. Ltd.,

which shows that petitioner is an employee of M/s Akbar Travels

of India Pvt. Ltd., Jalandhar and is working as a counter

executive w.e.f. 18.07.2016 till date. Petitioner is getting salary

of Rs.23,379/- per month. Learned counsel for the respondent

has only produced income tax returns for the assessment years

2014-15, 2015-16 and 2018-19 that too today in Court only.

[10]. Evidently, respondent is an income tax assesee. As per

income tax return for the assessment year of 2018-19, the gross

income of the respondent is shown to be Rs.3,64,190/-.

[11]. Learned counsel for the petitioner again submitted that

petitioner has liability towards old ailing father and unmarried

sister. The amount of Rs.23,379/- per month is only a meagre

amount, whereas the respondent is earning handsome amount

from his business and the income tax returns are not the true

picture of his real income which he has concealed in order to

evade payment of tax.

[12]. At this stage, no firm finding in respect of income of the

respondent can be made. It is a settled principle of law that

respondent has moral obligation to maintain his wife and the

wife is entitled to lead her life as per status of her husband. For

making assessment in respect of monthly income of the

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CR No.2900 of 2018 (OM) 5

husband some guess work can be done for assessing prima

facie income for the grant of maintenance pendente lite in

favour of the wife.

[13]. It is also a settled principle of law that the maintenance

cannot be granted for undue enrichment of the wife so as to

impede likely reconciliation in future. Maintenance pendente lite

is meant to prevent destitution and vagrancies of the wife. It is

equally true that the wife is also entitled to lead her life

according to the status of her husband.

[14]. Petitioner is also earning and she is also not expected

to squeeze out the husband/respondent. At the time of filing of

the divorce petition, the petitioner was not earning anything. As

per the submissions made by learned counsel for the petitioner,

the petitioner is having liability towards her old ailing father, who

was earlier maintaining the petitioner. Petitioner is having one

unmarried sister and she is looking after her also. On the other

hand, respondent has also some liability towards his family.

[15]. Looking to the business prospects and monthly income

of the respondent, it would be just and expedient to direct the

respondent to pay maintenance pendente lite to the tune of

Rs.10,000/- per month. By grant of such maintenance, the

petitioner would not get any undue enrichment in any manner,

rather she would feel secured to some extent as her job is only

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CR No.2900 of 2018 (OM) 6

private in nature. The said amount would suffice to prevent

destitution and vagrancy and would not undue enrich the

petitioner in any manner.

[16]. For the reasons recorded hereinabove, I partially

accept the prayer made in the revision petition to the extent of

awarding an amount of Rs.10,000/- per month as maintenance

pendente lite payable to the petitioner from the date of filing of

the application. The award of amount of Rs.8,000/- as litigation

expenses shall remain the same. Ordered accordingly. Petition

stands partially accepted.

May 29, 2019 (RAJ MOHAN SINGH)
Atik JUDGE
Whether speaking/reasoned Yes/No
Whether reportable Yes/No

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