Maintenance Denied to Wife: Husband Produced Video CD of Working Wife

The Challenged Order

The appellant Wife challenged the Order dated 03.09.2019, issued by the learned Principal Judge of Family Courts. This order dismissed her application for maintenance under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Marriage and Divorce

Husband and Wife got married on 21.04.2014. However, due to incompatibility and differences, their matrimonial relationship deteriorated, leading to the filing of a Divorce Petition under Section 13(1)(ia) of HMA by Husband. It’s worth noting that Wife was employed until the filing of the Divorce Petition, at which point she resigned from her job on 22.05.2015. Although they temporarily withdrew the Divorce Petition on 06.02.2016 after an amicable settlement, a police complaint filed by Wife on 06.05.2016 indicated ongoing issues in their relationship.

Second Divorce Petition

Subsequently, Husband filed a second Divorce Petition under Section 13(1)(ia) of HMA, against Wife on 24.05.2016. During the trial, Wife filed an application under Section 24 of HMA, which the court dismissed via an order dated 08.08.2018. Dissatisfied with this decision, Wife appealed to the High Court, resulting in the matter being remanded for reevaluation through an Order dated 28.03.2019.

The Critical Factors

In the reevaluation process, the learned Principal Judge of the Family Court revisited the case, considering the qualifications and employment history of Wife. Importantly, she had been working even before her marriage. However, this time, the court declined to grant her any pendent lite maintenance in an Order dated 03.09.2019. In response, Wife filed the present appeal, seeking interim maintenance of Rs. 35,000 per month, in addition to litigation expenses amounting to Rs. 55,000.

Educational and Employment Background

It’s crucial to note that Wife held an M. Phil qualification at the time of her marriage. Subsequently, she pursued and completed her Ph.D. in Management, coupled with professional qualifications in Computers. In stark contrast, the respondent Husband, was a simple graduate. Furthermore, at the time of her marriage, Wife was employed at a Diamond Jewellery Showroom, earning a monthly income of Rs. 12,000. Her resignation in 2015 was attributed to her inability to attend her office due to undisclosed reasons.

Contentious Claim of Employment

A significant point of contention in the case was Husband’s claim that Wife was employed in the office of M.P. Udit Raj in Connaught Place. He refuted Wife’s assertion of unemployment, relying on a CD recording that depicted Wife working in Mr. Udit Raj’s office and signing the attendance register. Initially, Wife denied working, but when presented with this CD, she explained that she occasionally assisted a friend working in the same office, often helping with office-related tasks.

Family Court's Decision

The learned Principal Judge of the Family Court denied maintenance to  the Wife. It was noted that Wife had initially failed to disclose her employment status, whether regular or charitable, as she had claimed. Her disclosure only came after the presentation of the CD recording. Additionally, the court found it implausible that an individual as highly qualified as the Wife in the present case would remain unemployed, casting further doubt on her claims.

High Court's Decision

In light of the facts presented, Hon’ble Delhi High Court concurred with the conclusions drawn by the learned Principal Judge of the Family Court. It emphasized that the Wife apart from being highly qualified, had indeed been employed. While there is a distinction between “capacity” and “actual earning,” the evidence on record indicated that the Wife was not only capable but had also been working. The court found no merit in the appeal and dismissed it accordingly.

For the complete judgment and detailed insights, you can refer to the original case document with Case No. MAT.APP.(F.C.) 248/2019, available on the Delhi High Court’s official website. This downloaded judgment can serve as a valuable resource for legal reference in ongoing cases as well.


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