New Delhi: A woman`s plea, seeking
maintenance for herself from her former husband has been
dismissed by the Delhi High Court on the ground that she had
"sufficient means to maintain herself".
A bench of Justice Suresh Kait gave its order on a plea
by Central Delhi resident Neelam Khanna (name changed),
against a sessions court order, which had set aside a
magisterial court order to her former husband V P Sharma to
give her an interim maintenance of Rs 5,000 per month.
"During her cross-examination, in the petition seeking
maintenance, the petitioner, while asserting that she is
living on mercy of relatives and friends, has failed to name
even a single person from whom she had taken debt or loan.
This proves that she has sufficient means to maintain
herself," said Justice Kait.
Khanna had told the high court that the sessions court
had failed to consider that she is unemployed and is not
earning her livelihood.
She had further said the lower court had also ignored her
submission that her husband is having rental income from
Sharma, however, opposed his former wife`s plea pointing
out that she had made him part with a flat and shop in South
Delhi in 2002 as per a deal for divorce with mutual consent
and she was having sufficient income to maintain herself.
As per the deal, she was not to claim any maintenance for
rest of her life after the divorce, which she gave him after
securing a major chunk of his properties, said Sharma.
"With mutual consent, we both separated from each other
in 2003. The petitioner was even given equal shares in the
property," said Sharma`s counsel.
Sharma`s counsel told the court that Khanna sold the shop
and the flat, given to her by Sharma, and purchased a double
storied building in Central Delhi, from which she is getting a
rent of around Rs 40,000 per month.
He said the petitioner is living lavishly in contrast to
her former husband, who has been forced to live in an
unauthorised colony and that too on rent.
"The petitioner backtracked from the said settlement and
continued with the litigation vigorously," the counsel said.
"The petitioner has concealed the fact that just before
filing this petition mentioned above, she got admitted her
adopted daughter to a prestigious, high-end public school and
is spending more than Rs 30,000 per month on her," Justice
Kait said, while upholding the session court observation that
there is no mode of recovery if later on it is found that the
wife has sufficient means to maintain herself.
Endorsing the sessions court order, Justice Kait also
said Khanna has enough means to maintain herself, as she is
living in her own house, whose monthly rental is Rs 80,000
whereas respondent is living in a rented house in an
unauthorised colony whose rental is Rs 8,000 per month.
"Moreover, she is running a nursing home in the basement
of property in South Delhi, whose monthly rent is Rs 25,000
per month," the court observed.