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Megha Khandelwal V/s Rajat Khandelwal and Ors.
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Megha Khandelwal V/s Rajat Khandelwal and Ors.
Megha Khandelwal V/s Rajat Khandelwal and Ors.

Criminal Appeal No. Of 2019

(Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 6422 of 2018)

Facts of the Case

The wife who is the petitioner, in this case, named Megha filed a petition against her husband (respondent) named Rajat, regarding domestic violence after her marriage. The case was filed under Section 12 of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. For the same, the Trial Court awarded her an interim maintenance of Rs. 5000 per month. However, the wife was not satisfied with the awarded amount and therefore challenged the decision of trial court in the sessions court. The sessions court after hearing both the sides increased the amount of interim maintenance to Rs 9000. Even after the amount was increased to Rs 9000 by the sessions court, the wife was not satisfied and therefore, she then challenged the order in the High Court. During the proceeding in the High Court, the counsel of the petitioner made a wrong statement or submission, regarding the income tax return of the husband. He stated that the income tax return of the husband for a certain number of years were not taken into consideration. However, the High Court found this submissions wrong as the income tax returns were filed properly. Furthermore, the high court found that, the wife who was the petitioner in this case, was well educated as she had degree in M.Sc. Biotech and meanwhile was preparing for her PhD. With these, the High Court also observed that all the other courts were of opinion that without any evidence being led in the matter, income could not be ascertained or assumed but however for meeting day to day expenses interim maintenance was granted. High Court then dismissed the petition of the wife.

The wife was again dissatisfied with the judgment given by the High Court and therefore then approached the Supreme Court, seeking an enhancement in the interim maintenance amount.

Issues of the Case

  1. Whether the petitioner in the case was correct in asking the interim maintenance though she herself was educated?
  2. The dissatisfaction of the petitioner with every court order was right?

Judgement

The Supreme Court in its judgment held that, “After hearing both the parties, and looking at all the rival documents submitted by both the parties, and placed before us, the court has reached to the decision that it is appropriate to enhance the interim amount to Rs.  25000 (Twenty-five thousand) per month to be paid by the respondent to the petitioner with effect from 01.05.2019 until any further proceeding take place. Further proceedings regarding the case are yet to be conducted before the concerned court. The court had directed the respondent to pay the interim maintenance amount on regular basis on or before, 10th of every English calendar month. The court also observed that the amount of interim maintenance depends on the factual situations and on the income of the individual. When the husband is in a position where he can provide maintenance to his wife, then the husband in such situations is bound to provide it. Even in this case, though the wife was well educated, but there are no evidences that provides, that she was earning well to maintain her and therefore, the court asked the respondent to pay the enhanced interim maintenance amount to the petitioner.

The Supreme Court further ensured early and speedy disposal of case by quoting “The Trial Court shall endeavour to decide all the cases pending between the parties being FIR No. 255 of 2016, Case No. 208 of 2016, Complaint Case No. 103 of 2016 and Divorce Petition originally filed in Case No. 30 of 2016, preferably within six months from today. The parties have undertaken before this Court to extend full co-operation to the trial Court for early disposal of the concerned case".

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