High Court Orders Maintenance Payments in Family Court Dispute

Court Upholds Family Court’s Maintenance Order

The Kerala High Court, led by Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V and Justice P.M. Manoj, has dismissed a petition challenging the Family Court’s order for interim maintenance. The petitioner, a father, was ordered to pay Rs. 20,000 per month for each of his two minor children starting from December 19, 2022. The Family Court’s decision had been previously upheld by a Division Bench on November 1, 2023. The High Court found no error in the Family Court’s order, noting it was based on detailed consideration of the petitioner’s financial situation and the children’s needs.

Petitioner’s Attempts to Avoid Payment

Despite the Court’s previous ruling, the petitioner filed a review petition with the Family Court, claiming the maintenance amount was excessive. The Family Court dismissed this petition, stating it was filed to delay the proceedings and avoid paying maintenance. Additionally, the Family Court struck off the petitioner’s defense for non-compliance with the interim maintenance order.

Court’s Analysis and Final Decision

The High Court reviewed the Family Court’s decisions, including the dismissal of the review petition and the striking off of the petitioner’s defense. The Court emphasized that the petitioner’s actions demonstrated a willful refusal to comply with the maintenance order. It cited precedents from the Supreme Court and other judgments to support its decision that striking off defenses is a last resort measure, warranted in this case due to the petitioner’s contumacious conduct.

Legal Framework and Directives

The judgment referenced several legal precedents and provisions, including:

The Court also directed the petitioner to pay Rs. 20,000 to the respondents within three weeks, failing which recovery proceedings would be initiated by the District Collector.

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