A millionaire husband was ordered by a Delhi court to pay his estranged wife Rs 4 lakh as maintenance
Sounds unbelievable, but true! A millionaire husband has been directed by a Delhi court to pay his estranged spouse a whopping Rs four lakh maintenance every month with 15 per cent raise every year for deserting her and their sole minor daughter.
The fact that the husband figured in the list of "Super Rich" category of a business magazine and the net worth of his business was around Rs 1,000 crore, was taken note by the court in fixing the maintenance.
Principal Judge Narottam Kaushal awarded additional 15 per cent per year raise in the maintenance amount for her and her daughter, noting that there was a "significant jump" in the income of the husband in two financial years which could not be ignored.
"The ranking of the family business in the 'Super Rich List' and assets of these firms at Rs 921 crore published in Fortune 500 publication, indicates that the husband belongs to a very affluent business family of India," the judge said, adding "he is the only son" who is living with his father.
It noted that the man's income for the year 2011-12, when the maintenance application was filed, compared with income for the year of decision (2012-13) by a magisterial court earlier, showed a quantum jump of more than double the income.
"Whether this radical change was a result of accounting jugglery or a result of concealment, is a question, which this court would leave unanswered. However, the jump is too significant to be ignored.
"The applicant (woman) cannot be denied the benefits of this increased income of the husband," the judge said.
The woman, in her application filed through advocate Manav Gupta, had alleged that she was thrown out of her matrimonial house in March 2008 after which she had filed a petition in high court for maintenance.
However, during the pendency of the maintenance petition, the husband filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in January 2011.
She then moved the trial court for maintenance on August 4, 2011 and a magisterial court on February 8, 2013 granted her a maintenance of Rs 1.25 lakh a month.
In the proceedings before the high court, she was granted a maintenance of Rs 75,000 per month on March 5, 2013.
Both these orders were challenged before higher courts which eventually reached the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court through its April 2014 order had remitted the matter back to the trial court, after which the woman withdrew the plea before high court.
The woman, thereafter, in her application filed in before the family court had sought pendente lite maintenance from the date of desertion by her husband claiming that he had appeared in the list of Super Rich in Business World magazine in 2010.
Pendente lite maintenance is the amount of maintenance during the pendency of the proceedings.
While seeking Rs seven lakh per month maintenance, the woman's counsel had said the husband "had a family business of net worth of Rs 921.28 crore. His house is as good as a five star hotel."
The husband, however, had claimed that he was the Director of various companies but earned a monthly salary of Rs 90,000 from only one firm.