Wife to compensate husband

New Delhi, Jan 27: A working woman’s bid to get maintenance from her estranged and ailing husband in a matrimonial case has boomeranged in a Delhi court which not only dismissed the plea but also asked her to bear his expenses.

“From the documents, it is clear that the petitioner is a lady of means and earns handsomely. So her application under section 24 (demanding maintenance from husband) of the Hindu Marriage Act is dismissed,” Additional District Judge Umed Singh Grewal, in an unusual order, said.

On the contrary, the court allowed the plea of the estranged husband that, in fact, he was entitled for maintenance and as he was ill and unable to sustain himself.

“The wife is directed to pay Rs 500 per month as maintenance amount to the husband from the date of filing of application… she is also directed to pay Rs 3,500 to the man as litigation expense so that he may engage an advocate,” the court said.

The order came on two cross-applications filed by the estranged spouses in a divorce petition seeking interim maintenance from each other.

The wife, a resident of Najafgarh here, had contended that she was a housewife and had no source of income to maintain their four school-going kids.

On the other hand, her husband was a man of means and used to earn Rs 15,000 per month by running a shop in weekly ‘bazar’ in the area, she said.

However, the court held that she failed to substantiate her claims. The man had countered the claims with documentary evidence and placed on record Income Tax returns of his wife and proved she was earning Rs 9,000 per month.

“It is clear from the tax return for the year 2006-2007 that the woman earns Rs 9,000 per month. The respondent (husband) has placed on record the photograph of ‘Puja Kids Care’ nursery school being run by the petitioner (woman). He has also placed on records her special Police Officer card,” the court noted.

The man also proved that his wife and one of the children were using mobile phones, the court said.

The maintenance applications were filed by them in the petition filed by the woman for grant of decree of divorce to her on the ground of cruelties meted out to her.

Meanwhile, the court dismissed two applications seeking medical examination of the woman and DNA test of one of their kids to ascertain their parentage.

“The forum cannot be used to collect evidence in support of any party,” it said.

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