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No Alimony to Wife earning sufficiently to support herself : Calcutta HC

Denial of Maintenance by Calcutta HC
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Monday, the Calcutta High Court in the matter of Somdatta Chatterjee denied claim of maintenance amount under Special Marriage Act, 1954 to the wife, if her income is sufficient to fulfil her requirement.

A revision petition was filed by the wife in the High Court, seeking relief against the Order passed by the trial court.

In this matter, husband had filed divorce petition under Special Marriage Act 1954, where the wife filed an application demanding a monthly maintenance amount of Rs 50,000 per month under the section 36 of the said act.

The learned trial Judge refused to grant the maintenance amount to the wife on the ground that “she has sufficient independent income to support herself”. However, the learned trial court “awarded a sum of Rs. 30,000/- to the wife petitioner on account of litigation expenses”.

The wife in her application at the Ld trial court, had submitted that husband earning $ 1,20,000 per annum, working at US, while the wife disclosed her income to 48,000 rupees per month. The wife had also given breakup of her requirement as:

“14. That the petitioner states that to maintain herself as per the status of the respondent the petitioner needs a sum of Rs. 50,000/- per month in following heads : Rs. 10,000/- as household maintenance and other utilities Rs. 4000/- as pocket allowance and Rs. 22,000/- for goods, groceries, clothes and other daily needs and Rs. 14,000/- legal expenses.”

The bench of Justice Biswajit Basu observed that, wife was getting monthly allowance of Rs. 14,133 for house rent allowances and transport allowances of Rs. 3534 reimbursed by her employer. The bench also observed considering her salary slip that, her income was not less than Rupees 74,000 thousand per month.

“The present income of the wife/petitioner as it appears from her aforementioned salary certificates is not less than Rs. 74,000/- per month which is sufficient for her support particularly when she herself has assessed her requirement at Rs. 50,000/- in the application for alimony pendente lite.”

The bench then upheld the trial court order and disposed the matter.

“The learned trial Judge in the order impugned has considered the requirement of the wife/petitioner vis-à-vis her income and is absolutely justified in refusing the prayer of the wife/petitioner for alimony pendente lite. The order impugned, therefore, does not call for any interference.”

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