Court Upholds Maintenance Order for Wife Amid Husband’s Challenge

High Court Upholds Maintenance Order Amid Husband's Challenge

Background and Initial Rulings

In a recent judgment from the High Court of Karnataka at Bengaluru, the Hon’ble Justice Lalitha Kanneganti dismissed a revision petition filed by a husband challenging a previous maintenance order. The judgment, dated February 26, 2024, relates to RPFC No. 161 of 2020. The original order from the II Additional Principal Family Court at Mysuru granted the wife Rs. 15,000 per month in maintenance.

The petitioner’s wife had sought maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), claiming that she was the legally wedded wife and had been abandoned by the husband after enduring physical and mental harassment. She had previously filed a police complaint, leading to charges against the husband. The court found that the husband had contracted a second marriage and neglected his duty to maintain his first wife and their son, prompting her to seek support as she was unemployed and living with her parents.

Husband’s Claims and Court’s Findings

The husband admitted to the marriage and the second marriage but accused his first wife of having an illicit relationship and filing false cases against him. He claimed he was financially incapable of paying the maintenance due to various debts and illnesses, and also mentioned that his son, working at HAL Company, earned Rs. 35,000 monthly. However, the court noted that he did not provide evidence supporting his claims about his wife’s income or their son’s employment.

The Family Court observed that the husband owned properties and received substantial rental income. It noted that the husband had tried to transfer property ownership to his second wife to evade paying maintenance, further highlighting his neglect towards the first wife. The court thus ruled that the maintenance amount was justified.

High Court’s Decision

Upon reviewing the case, the High Court upheld the Family Court’s decision. It found no merit in the husband’s arguments, emphasizing his attempts to manipulate property transactions to avoid his maintenance obligations. The court noted his disrespect towards the legal process and his responsibility to support his first wife and their son. The petition was consequently dismissed.

This case underscores the court’s role in ensuring justice and support for neglected spouses, reinforcing the legal provisions under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. and the Family Courts Act, 1984.

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