March 9, 2021 8:50:56 pm
Rejecting a man’s contention that his expenses were more than his salary as he lived in one of the most expensive cities in the world, a Mumbai court ordered him to pay maintenance to his estranged wife.
The court’s order last week was on the wife’s plea seeking interim relief under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
The man, an architect, had told the court that he earned Rs 2.31 lakh and it was the ‘bare minimum’ for his survival in Dubai, which he said was one of the most expensive cities in the world, expressing his inability to pay maintenance.
“As such the person like respondent no. 1, who is highly qualified, resides in most expensive city Dubai, visits many other countries like China etc., incurs mobile expenses of more than Rs 10,000 cannot be believed that he is now jobless/unemployed. It shows only to avoid to maintain the applicant…respondent (is) falsely stating that he is unemployed. Not maintaining the applicant is also an act of domestic violence,” the court said.
It directed the man to provide accommodation to his wife in their home if she opts to reside with him, along with Rs 20,000 as maintenance or Rs 30,000 inclusive of rent if she lives in a separate home till the case is heard for a final order.
The couple got married in 2017.
In her application before the court, the woman stated that her parents had at that time given Rs 50,000 in cash and gold to the man and his family members. She alleged that a month later, a demand of Rs 6 lakh was made as dowry, of which Rs 4 lakh was paid.
The woman further claimed that her husband’s family had demanded that the interior decoration of their home be done with the expenses incurred by her parents. She alleged further domestic violence, claiming that she was ill-treated and not allowed medical aid.
Her husband had countered the allegations claiming that they never sought any money and a cheque drawn in their favour was a friendly loan, which was returned. He said that a false complaint was filed a year after he sought divorce. He also claimed that his wife had a job and was earning Rs 50,000.
The man had also claimed that the complaint was filed to harass them as they had confronted his wife’s parents about them hiding her mental illness before their marriage. The court took into consideration the chats between the couple to conclude that this claim was false.
The court said that the evidence including their arrangements at the wedding, honeymoon destination and architecture at home showed that they were both from affluent, upper-middle class families.
The court said that the evidence showed that it was a prima facie case of domestic violence with the woman being harassed for money and on ground of her illness. It said that being a working woman is no ground to deny her maintenance and accommodation.
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