A Delhi court has pulled up a man who “impersonated himself as a pauper” to avoid paying monthly maintenance to his estranged wife, noting that he was the director of a company which has Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador.
Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Agrawal was hearing the appeal of a man against a trial court’s order granting Rs 30,000 monthly maintenance to his estranged wife.
Directing the man to pay the maintenance, the court held, “This court can take judicial notice of the fact that the brand ambassador of said brand is Virat Kohli, the test cricket captain of Team India. Therefore, it looks highly improbable that a company which is running into great losses (as claimed by appellant), was in a position to afford a celebrity of such stature for advertisement of its product.”
The trial court had directed the man to pay the monthly maintenance to his wife who had filed a case against him under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act and had sought various reliefs besides interim maintenance. The trial court had granted her monthly maintenance while assessing the man’s monthly income to be Rs 1 lakh.
The order was challenged by the husband who stated that he had no income and that he was the director of a loss-making firm. The court, however, found that his company manufactured a product promoted by the cricketer, in its order passed on January 3.
The judge pointed out that the husband was a “man of means” having a large business and appeared to be “impersonating himself as a pauper” to defeat the “legitimate maintenance claim” of the estranged wife, the court said.
On the tendency of people to hide their income in such cases, the court said, “It appears that in the instant case also, appellant/husband withheld his true income from the court. It cannot be believed that a person who was capable of supporting a family by getting married, would all of a sudden become devoid of all sources of income.”