The Bombay High Court directed a man to pay Rs 1 lakh from his salary as maintenance to his estranged wife and children. The 40-year-old aeronautical engineer, who earns a monthly salary of Rs 5.5 lakh, did not pay interim monthly maintenance to his wife despite a court order, following which, he was asked to pay Rs 1 lakh per month.
The engineer owes Rs 30 lakh in interim maintenance arrears. The court observed that the man earns a handsome salary and was prima facie, avoiding the payment of interim maintenance to his wife and kids.
In 2018, the engineer’s wife lodged a domestic violence complaint against him and his family members. In February 2019, the magistrate court ordered interim maintenance for the woman and her kids, following which, the man moved the sessions court. In April 2019, the sessions court asked the man to pay costs of Rs 2,000 within a fortnight as there was a delay in filing the appeal.
How it happened
In June 2019, the man returned to the sessions court and claimed that he was unaware of the April 2019 order. He said he was working in another city and was unable to track the order due to a technical glitch in the court’s application. The man said that he asked his lawyer to speak to his estranged wife and pay her Rs 2,000 as soon as he learned about the order, The Times of India reported.
The sessions court, however, observed that the man was present when the order was passed. The court then rejected the plea. I November 2019, the woman moved the magistrate court for attachment of the man’s salary. The woman alleged that the accused only paid Rs 2 lakh since the court granted maintenance in February 2019.
The man, however, opposed the same and said that he moved the Bombay High Court where his plea was pending and the hearing was delayed due to COVID-19. The man alleged that his estranged wife lied to the court that she was unemployed.
The court stated that the order granting interim maintenance was not stayed and hence, he was obliged to obey the same.