The Delhi High Court in its recent order has refused to enhance maintenance for wife under Section 127 (1) CrPC owing to ‘no change in her circumstances’.
Justice Chandra Dhari Singh clarified that the intent behind granting interim or permanent maintenance is not to punish the other spouse, but to ensure that the dependent spouse is not reduced to destitution or vagrancy on account of the failure of the marriage, and thus balance and equity must carefully be drawn between all relevant factors.
Wife had been awarded Rs 3,000 per month as maintenance by trial court. Later, she sought a monthly maintenance of Rs 35,000 stating that the amount awarded by lower court was very inadequate for her sustenance, considering that the husband was now drawing a salary of Rs 82,000 per month.
She also alleged that her husband had his actual earnings from the trial court.
The respondent-husband, however, claimed that he was earning Rs 15,000 per month by working as a cab driver and living in a rented property. He also added that besides maintaining his ownself and estranged wife, he had to take care of his old and ailing parents as well.
Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court was hearing a revision petition by the wife seeking enhancement of the maintenance from Rs 3,000 to Rs 35,000 per month.
The High Court asserted,
Under Section 127 (1) Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), a provision is made to increase or reduce the allowance if there is a change in the circumstances of the parties at the time of the application for alteration of the original order of maintenance and it must be shown that there has been a change in the circumstances of husband or of the wife.
The High Court added,
Maintenance to wife under the provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is not a blanket liability for all times to come and can be increased or decreased on account of change in circumstances of the husband or the wife.
Change in Circumstances [Section 127 (1) CrPC]
Section 125 CrPC awards lifelong maintenance to wives, unless they remarry.
The change of circumstances referred to in sub-section (1) of Section 127 CrPC is a comprehensive phrase which also includes the change of circumstances of husband. The amount of maintenance once fixed under section 125(1) Cr.P.C. is not something which can be taken to be a blanket liability for all times to come.
It is subject to variation on both sides. It can be increased or decreased as per the altered circumstances, said the court in its recent order.
The intent behind granting interim/permanent alimony is to ensure that the dependent spouse is not reduced to destitution or vagrancy on account of the failure of the marriage, and not as punishment to the other spouse. It is settled law that balance and equity must carefully be drawn between all relevant factors, it stated.
The court observed following points that to arrive at the appropriate quantum of maintenance:
- Financial capacity of the husband
- His actual income with reasonable expenses for his maintenance as well as dependant family members and liabilities would be required to be taken into consideration
- Standard of living that the spouse seeking maintenance was accustomed to in her matrimonial home
The High Court said that neither the petitioner-wife placed on record any documents to assess the respondent’s exact income and establish that he was earning such a handsome amount of money, nor there were any change in circumstances.
Thus, the High Court dismissed the wife’s petition as it opined that it did not find any cogent reason to interfere with the trial court’s order.
- Section 125 CrPC is one of the biggest legal traps for Men
- Under this section, a man is expected to provide for his estranged for life, his minor children (adult daughter till she gets married), senior citizen parents if they too go to court
- Broadly speaking about permanent maintenance to Wives: The biggest loophole is no fixed timeline, which means parties could have been separated in the year 2002 when Husband was earning X
- Court would have fixed maintenance for wife based on this income and woman’s status in her matrimonial home
- A woman is entitled to get maintenance for life without divorce, which means, if the husband’s income increased to 10X in 2022, the woman feels, despite not contributing for 20-years in her matrimonial home, its her legal right to be compensated basis current income of a man, who she still legally refers to as husband
- This is nothing but sheer legal extortion of Men, that does not permit them to move on, while on the other hand, disgruntled wives keep dragging them to court for more and more money, without any onus on them becoming self dependent
Delhi High Court Refuses To Enhance Maintenance For Wife Owing To "No Change In Her Circumstances"
▪️Parties separate in 2002, Wife gets maintenance
▪️Wife does not consent to divorce for 20Yrs
▪️Demands maintenance as per husband's current incomehttps://t.co/3Xr5ObnXGZ
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) June 29, 2022
Occasional Adultery No Grounds To Deny Maintenance To Wife | Delhi High Court
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