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Jammu and Kashmir court allows maintenance to an earning wife, denied sharing daughter’s maintenance amount between husband-wife

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The Additional Sessions Court of Jammu and Kashmir, while deciding the review petitions pertaining to the interim maintenance amount awarded by the trail court held that, “father is legally and morally bound to take care of his daughter and her needs”. It also allowed the maintenance to earning wife.

“He is under moral , social, religious and legal sanction to maintain his family. His duty to maintain his family is an much higher pedestal”

The Additional Sessions Court of Jammu and Kashmir

In the case, both the husband and wife along with the daughter filed revision petition at the additional session court. In July 2020, the trial court passed an interim order for the husband to pay Rupees 9000 to his daughter every month for maintenance, while nothing was awarded to wife as the trial court observed that the wife was working in a permanent job.

The husband filed the revision petition, being aggrieved of the trial court order, on the grounds that the maintenance amount is on the higher side and also that his earning wife to share the maintenance amount.

“… an earning lady , drawing Rs. 60,000/salary as Gram Sevak and both of them are equally responsible for maintaining of their daughter. So the responsibility of paying maintenance amount should have been equally apportioned between the two instead of directing him to pay the entire maintenance amount . That the amount awarded is on higher side .”

On the other side, the wife filed the revision petition, on the grounds that the maintenance amount is lesser and rejection of her claim to maintenance being wife. Also that the interim order was passed from the date of order and not from the date of filing the application.

“That the petitioner is though serving in the Rural Development Department , but as a low level employee , unable to cater the needs of her and of her daughter.”

As the two filed separate petitions, the court proposed to jointly decide the petitions.

The revision court observed that, the interim maintenance order by the trial court was a guesswork as the daughter as not explicitly mentioned the expenditures in the petition before trial court.

“Fact remains that she was supposed to put in explicit terms as how much… expenses she incurs on her studies… Once that was not available in the pleading , it is ofcourse the guesswork which was to be made and rightly so done by the Ld. Magistrate and awarded Rs.9000/as an interim relief.”

The court said that the father’s claim of the said interim maintenance amount on the higher side is baseless, as he “is a permanent employee in BSF getting suitable salary is legally and morally bound to take care of his daughter and her needs”.

The court disagreed with the husband’s argument that the daughter’s maintenance amount should be shared between both the husband and wife.

“His duty to maintain his family is an much higher pedestal . Only in a situation where he is economically weak and his wife is earning sufficiently well , in that situation she may be legally obliged to share the expenses , otherwise not.”

The court observed that there was no evidence on record by the husband to prove that his wife is drawing handsome salary as he has pleaded.

“once she has stated on affidavit that she is a low level govt employee , it was now for her husband to bring on record that she is drawing sufficient monthly income which dis-entitles her for grant of any maintenance from him.”

The court passed the order in the favour of the daughter and the wife and allowed the interim maintenance from the date of filing of application.

“the order impugned sustainable to the extent of grant of interim maintenance to the daughter . However , it does not sustain to the extent of denying the interim maintenance to wife and granting interim maintenance to daughter from date of order only . Now wife is also held entitled for the same @ Rs. 6000/per month . Both mother and daughter will get the same from the date of filing application in the trial court for grant of maintenance.”

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