Guj HC upholds enhancement of alimony
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 18:48
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday rejected a man's plea challenging enhancement of alimony amount to his wife after it came to know that he had recently purchased a new luxury car.

A division bench, comprising of Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice J B Pardiwala, was of the view that the single judge bench had rightly enhanced the amount of interim maintenance.

"We are of the view that amount of Rs 17,500 per month towards maintenance of wife and minor daughter, studying in class XII, cannot be said to be, in any manner, unreasonable or on a higher side," the court observed.

It further said that it has been informed that Dharmesh Desai had bought a brand new car (Mahindra Logan) worth about Rs six lakh.

Desai's wife Hetal had moved the family court in Navsari seeking divorce in 2009 after 18 years of marriage and had sought maintenance. Hetal had sought divorce alleging Dharmesh's extra-marital affair.

"If the appellant-husband can afford to buy a brand new car worth about Rs 6 lakh, then he can definitely pay an amount of Rs 17,500 per month towards interim maintenance for the well-being of his wife and minor daughter," the court observed, while rejecting the man's appeal.

Denying any relief to Dharmesh, the court observed, "From the attitude exhibited by the appellant-husband it appears that at any cost, he does not want to discharge his legal obligation to maintain his wife and minor daughter."

A trial court had asked Dharmesh to pay Rs 3,000 every month as interim maintenance to Hetal till the divorce was settled. Hetal found the amount meagre and moved the high court last year.

The single-judge bench of the high court which heard the case enhanced the interim maintenance to Rs 17,500 per month (Rs 7,500 for the wife and Rs 10,000 as maintenance for their minor daughter studying in class 12).

Dharmesh, who owns two shops in Surat and is engaged in the business of home appliances, challenged this order of payment of Rs 17,500 every month before a division bench stating that this amount is too much for him.

He argued that the high court awarded maintenance amount for the daughter, even though his wife did not seek it before the trial court.

During proceedings of the case, he had proposed one time settlement by payment of Rs 8 lakh on condition that Hetal would withdraw all cases against him and the divorce petition would be converted to the petition for separation by mutual consent.

Even after Hetal agreed to the proposal, Dharmesh went back on his word saying that he could not afford paying such huge sum as he was a small business man.


First Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 18:48

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