One of the criteria in deciding maintenance to wife is the standard of living wife was used to at time of separation. Another is the income and expenses of the parties. In this 2016 Delhi High Court judgment, wife had applied for increase in maintenance amount awarded by family court by giving the reasoning that husband is working in Dubai and earning foreign currency. The court however refused that reasoning by stating that cost of living in Dubai will also be high, so one cannot simply convert from foreign currency to rupees. And court also held that wife was also working and earning as Ayurvedic doctor but has chose not to disclose her own income details.
Full judgment text is below:
IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Date of Decision: September 29, 2016
MS BINDU CHAUDHARY ….. Appellant
Represented by: Mr.P.Acharya, Advocate
SHRI DEEPAK SUGA ….. Respondent
Represented by: Ms.Shikha Sapra, Advocate
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE PRADEEP NANDRAJOG
HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE PRATIBHA RANI
PRATIBHA RANI, J. (Oral)
C.M. No. 9083/2015
1. For the reasons stated in the application, 135 days delay in filing the
appeal is condoned.
2. The application is disposed of.
1. The appellant/wife is in appeal seeking enhancement of maintenance,
awarded vide order dated November 19, 2014, by the learned Judge, Family
Court. While disposing of the application under Section 24 of the Hindu
Marriage Act, 1955, filed by her in HMA No.200/2014, she has been
granted maintenance of 5,000 per month in addition to 2,000 per Court
visit towards her expenses for visit and 500 as DA per Court visit.
2. The respondent/husband filed a petition in the year 2013 seeking
dissolution of marriage under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act,
1955. On notice of the divorce petition being received, the appellant/wife
filed an application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
seeking pendent lite maintenance of 1 lac per month in addition to 15,000
per month towards travelling expenses for attending the Court proceedings
from Solan, Himachal Pradesh to Delhi and 5,000/- per day during that
time towards her lodging and boarding expenses in Delhi.
3. The respondent/husband contested her claim to seek maintenance as
the wife was a qualified Ayurvedic doctor earning 50,000 per month in
addition to income from interest on FDR of 6 lacs in MIP scheme as well
interest from her bank deposits.
4. As per the respondent/husband, he is a graduate, employed in Dubai
as shop Supervisor, earning AED 3,000. He has also obtained LIC policy
for 20 years. He had also taken a loan of AED 9,000 which he is re-paying
in 18 EMIs of AED 500 each. As his mother is suffering from brain tumor
and bed ridden he had been visiting India to see her and thereby required to
spend on his travel.
5. After considering the rival contentions of the parties and their
respective status, learned Judge, Family Court, while observing that both the
parties are well qualified and have capacity to earn, allowed the application
under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 awarding 5000 per
month towards maintenance. She was also allowed Volvo fare of every visit
to Delhi to attend the Court proceedings and 500 per Court visit towards
her personal expenses.
6. The appellant/wife being not satisfied is seeking enhancement mainly
on the ground that the respondent/husband is working in Dubai and having
no other liability except to maintain her.
7. If a person is working in Dubai, he earns in the currency of that
country and spends also in that currency. So it is not open to the wife to just
convert his income in Indian currency and then seek enhancement. The
Court has to consider the cost of living as per the living standards in country
where he is employed.
8. Bare perusal of provision of Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act,
1955 would show that for grant of maintenance pendent lite the party should
not have sufficient independent income for her support. In the instance case
admittedly the appellant/wife is a practicing Ayurvedic doctor and her
financial status can be inferred from her bank deposits.
9. The respondent/husband is duty bound to attend to his ailing mother
and visit India as and when required and take care of other expenses
required for her treatment.
10. The appellant/wife has already been awarded suitable maintenance
despite the fact that she is well qualified doctor and had earlier been working
as Consultant in Jiva Ayurveda Hospital, but preferred not to place on record
the terms and conditions of consultancy and what she was getting as a
consultant doctor during that time or at the time of filing of this application.
Apart from awarding reasonable maintenance as per income and liability of
the respondent/husband, the expenses incurred/likely to be incurred for
coming to Delhi to attend the Court proceedings have also been taken care
11. The impugned order being passed after taking into consideration the
aspects regarding earning capacity of the parties, the actual earning of the
husband who though working in Dubai has to spend more as the cost of
living is high there.
12. The appeal has no merits and the same is hereby dismissed.
C.M. Nos. 13095/2016, 18604-05/16
All the three applications are dismissed as not pressed.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2016