The Tripura High Court last week directed a husband to pay Rs 17,000 per month maintenance to his divorced wife and their minor daughter. The high court has observed that the husband can’t be permitted to ignore his responsibility for maintaining his divorced wife & daughter on the ground of inadequacy of carry home pay.
The Bench of Justice S. G. Chattopadhyay was hearing a criminal revision petition, wherein the divorced wife challenged the order of Family Court, Agartala that had enhanced the monthly maintenance allowance payable to her from Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000. The wife had demanded that her maintenance amount per month be enhanced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 23,500 per month.
The couple got married on February 02, 2003 and a daughter was born to them within their wedlock. Few years, due to matrimonial dispute, the wife left the company of her husband along with her daughter and started living with her parents (in 2006).
The husband approached Family Court, Agartala asking the wife to return, however, since she refused to do so, a decree of divorce dissolving their marriage was passed on September 16, 2010. While decreeing the suit for divorce, the family court allowed monthly maintenance allowance of Rs 5,000 to the petitioner.
In the year 2018, the divorced wife then filed a petition in the family court demanding a raise in her monthly maintenance allowance from Rs 5,000 to Rs 23,500 per month.
Arguments By Husband
The husband argued before the family court that his divorced wife (the petitioner) had income from her employment and she was quite able to maintain herself.
The husband further stated before the court, that after the divorce with the petitioner, he remarried and his present wife is a dependent of him. The husband also stated that both he and his present wife suffer from various kinds of ailments for which they have a recurring medical expenditure.
The family court noted that the man’s monthly salary was Rs 62,400, and after considering the amount of his take home pay after deduction and the rising needs of the petitioner and her daughter, the maintenance allowance per month from Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000 per month though the wife claimed Rs 23,500 per month..
Tripura High Court
Noting that there was no proof of any serious ailment of the husband and his second wife, the court said,
His divorced wife i.e. the petitioner on the other hand is struggling with their daughter for survival. Admittedly, the daughter is a school going child and Rs 8,000 which has been sanctioned by the Family Court is not at all adequate for them particularly when the husband is capable of paying more.
The court, in its Judgment, also noted that there cannot be any denial of the fact that Rs 8,000 per month is far less than adequate for the petitioner to maintain herself and her daughter who is a school going child.
The court added,
Though (the husband) earns Rs 62 400 per month his carry home pay has been reduced due to contribution of Rs 15,000 to GPF and GPF recovery of Rs 10,000. The husband can bring down these amounts by contributing less to GPF and raising the number of instalments for recovery of loan taken from GPF. He cannot be permitted to ignore his responsibility for maintaining his divorced wife and daughter on the ground of inadequacy of carry home pay.
Lastly, the husband was directed to an amount of Rs 17,000 (Rupees seventeen thousand) to the petitioners as monthly maintenance allowance by depositing the money in the savings bank account of the wife.
Also, it was directed that maintenance allowance at the enhanced rate ordered by the Court shall be paid w.e.f. the date of the impugned order i.e. from May 30, 2019.