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Delhi High Court Dismisses Petition in Interim Maintenance Matter After Finding No Proof for Interference

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In the case of Amit Dhiman v Boski Dhiman, Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri found no ground to interfere in order passed by the family court regarding maintenance and dismissed the petition in absence of proof that showed respondent was earning which made her ineligible for receiving any maintenance. Court also stated that there’s a difference between  ‘capable of earning’ and ‘actual earning’.

Brief Facts

The petition was filed u/s 19(4) of the Family Courts Act, 1984 for revision, by the petitioner, against the impugned order passed by the Family Courts, which granted interim maintenance to the respondent of Rs.20,000/- per month from the date of filing of the application till the disposal of the petition. 

Submissions Before Court

Learned counsel for the petitioner contended that at the time of filing of the application, the respondent was unemployed, had no source of income and was completely dependent on her parents, but is also highly qualified and capable of earning. After contending he referred to the bank statements showing financial transactions. Counsel also submitted that Family Court did not consider the fact while passing the impugned order that petitioner’s grand-mother is dependent on him. 

Court’s Observation

The court observed the bank statements of the respondent presented before the court to highlight the financial transactions, but the bank statements were from the year 2015 to February 2017, and an interim maintenance application was filed in July 2017 and referred to the case of Annurita Vohra v. Sandeep Vohra 2004 SCC OnLine Del 192. Whereas when a question arises about whether the wife can be denied maintenance, the court referred to Arun Vats v. Pallavi Sharma 2019 SCC OnLine Del 11817 and in the case of Shailja & Anr. v. Khobbanna reported as (2018) 12 SCC 199, that ‘capable of earning’ and ‘actual earning’ are two different requirements and denied the reason to be sufficient for reducing maintenance. In Sarwan Kumar Sharma v. Ranjana Sharma @ Ranjana Rani & Anr., it was decided that to file an application for maintenance u/s 125 CrPC, a wife does not need to be completely destitute. Reference was made on Chaturbhuj v. Sita Bai (2008) 2 SCC 316, Vinny Parmvir Parmar v. Parmvir Parmar (2011) 13 SCC 112] and Sunita Kachwaha & Ors. v. Anil Kachwaha (2014) 16 SCC 715.

Court’s Decision

The Court held that in the impugned order, the Family Court divided the family into five pieces, giving two shares each to the petitioner and his parents and only one to the respondent. The amount paid of Rs.30,000/- pm to the respondent was prior to the passing of the order granting interim maintenance. In the absence of proof that the respondent is earning, the court found no ground to interfere and thus accordingly dismissed the petition along with the pending applications. 

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