The Delhi High Court in its recent judgment observed that the husband cannot elude himself, from maintaining his children after divorce.
Even if the wife is an earning woman, the husband cannot avoid the responsibilities and duties of providing maintenance to his children.
The petitioner, i.e the huband,a muslim man, married the respondent, a Christian woman ,on 28th of November,2004, under the Special Marriage Act, and the parties separated in March 2015. From the previous marriage, the petitioner husband had two daughters and from the present wedlock two daughters have been born. It is an admitted position that three minor daughters are residing with the respondent wife and one of the daughters from the previous wedlock of the petitioner, who has turned major, out of her own will is residing with the petitioner.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva of The Delhi High Court was hearing a revision petition challenging an order of the Sessions Court, whereby asserting its infirmity with the order of The Trial Court, in the case of Farooq Ahmed Shala v. Marie Chanel Giller.
The respondent ,under the Section 23 of The Domestic Violence Act, filed a petition, in which it was held that, the income of the petitioner not being any less than 2 lakhs, is entitled to pay Rs 60.000 monthly to the respondent in lieu of maintaining his three daughters.
The petitioner contested that he is a pauper, and his income source i.e. his business was taken over by the respondent. The Trial Court noted that the petitioner had started another business, a transport company, named MOVINDIA Ltd., and had been transacting under that name. On the perusal of The income and expenditure statement by the court, it was also found that, the petitioner had been withdrawing 3 lakh rupees, every month from his bank account. The petitioner later,failed to submit records, in support of his claims.
The Appellate Court rejected the appeal of the petitioner, stating that he has nonchalantly misappropriated and not fairly disclosed his income, which make him a man of means, who shall be responsible unequivocally, for maintaining his children.
Before this court the petitioner continues to contend that he is a pauper,and has no source of income, but the court find that there is no reason or material which has been placed on record by petitioner to even prima facie show that he is incapable or incapacitated from earning.
The court pronounces that, petitioner has a legal, social and moral responsibility to not only maintain his wife but also his children .One cannot put value to the time and effort put in by the mother in upbringing of the child. No doubt, if the mother is an earning member should contribute to the expenses, but the efforts put in the care of the children, cannot be liquidated, therefore, no expense can be contributed equally.
The court observed that:
“A mother who has custody of a child not only spends money on the upbringing of the child but also spent substantial time and effort in bringing up the child.”
Referring to The Supreme Court of India in Bhuwan Mohan Singh v. Meena, (2015) 6 SCC 353, the court said a situation cannot be ineptly created to let the woman bear the yoke of her marriage and it was the inviolable duty of the husband to provide maintenance to his wife.
The court dismissed the plea of the petitioner, considering the fact that the only dependent member of the petitioner are his three minor daughters, who are presently in the custody of the respondent, who is taking care of them, the award of interim maintenance of Rs.60,000/- per month, to my mind, is not unjustified.