New Delhi: A man has been directed by a Delhi court to pay Rs 20,000 per month as interim maintenance to his estranged wife and minor daughter, who are living separately from him.
The Sessions court also held that "a wife or the children cannot be forced to face starvation till she is granted maintenance by the court in appropriate proceeding".
It disposed of the appeal filed by the man challenging an April, 2013 order of a magisterial court which had asked him to pay Rs 20,000 per month to his wife and five-year-old daughter.
"Purpose of providing interim maintenance, is meant to secure food, clothing and shelter to a wife and needy children claiming maintenance, food, clothing and shelter till her maintenance claim is finally determined," additional Sessions judge Vinay Kumar Khanna said.
"It is the social and legal obligation of the husband to make arrangement for the maintenance of the wife and children who are not able to maintain themselves with their own source of income," the judge said.
The man, a resident of Delhi, said in his appeal that the trial court had failed to consider that the woman, who married him in November 2007, had filed a harassment case against him with the "sole motive to extort money".
However, the woman opposed the husband`s contention saying he used to demand dowry and taunt her for bringing less dowry and also had an illicit relationship with two women.
She had further told the court that her family was misled to believe that he was a qualified advocate, which was later found out to be false.
The woman also submitted that she was compelled to leave her matrimonial home with her child in February 2010.
While upholding the trial court`s decision, the sessions judge directed the magistrate, who is dealing with the maintenance plea of the woman, to expedite the disposal of the main petition.