High Court Overturns Family Court Decision, Orders Maintenance for Wife and Daughter

High Court Orders Maintenance for Estranged Wife and Daughter

Court Ruling in Favor of Petitioners

In a significant judgment, the High Court of Karnataka at Bengaluru reversed a Family Court decision, ordering a man to pay maintenance to his estranged wife and daughter. The case, filed under Section 19(4) of the Family Courts Act, 1984, was presided over by the Hon’ble Justice Hanchate Sanjeev Kumar. The judgment was delivered on February 13, 2024.

Background of the Case

The petitioners, a woman and her minor daughter, challenged the Family Court’s earlier decision that denied them maintenance. The husband admitted that the woman was his wife but disputed the paternity of the daughter. The Family Court had dismissed the maintenance petition filed under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), citing insufficient evidence of ill-treatment and doubts about the authenticity of the daughter’s birth certificate.

Arguments and Evidence

The wife’s counsel argued that despite the absence of a formal police complaint, the ill-treatment and cruelty from the husband forced her and her daughter to live separately. The respondent’s counsel countered that the Family Court correctly dismissed the birth certificate and emphasized that the wife was financially self-sufficient as she was employed.

The High Court scrutinized the evidence, noting that the respondent had not provided proof that the daughter was not his. The court highlighted that although there were minor corrections in the birth certificate, they did not undermine its validity. The court also considered the financial standings of both parties, concluding that the husband’s agricultural background and property ownership made him more capable of providing support compared to the wife’s modest income as a tailor.

Court’s Decision and Orders

Justice Sanjeevkumar ruled that the Family Court had erred in its judgment by not properly evaluating the evidence. The High Court found that the husband’s obligation to support his wife and daughter was not negated by the wife’s employment or the minor discrepancies in the birth certificate.

The High Court ordered the husband to pay Rs. 5,000 per month to each petitioner. This maintenance will continue for the wife until her remarriage or death, and for the daughter until her marriage. The judgment also allows the husband to seek modification of the order if he can later prove that the daughter is not biologically his.

This judgment underscores the responsibility of spouses to support each other and their children, irrespective of minor technicalities or the independent earnings of the wife.

Download Judgment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top