Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Whether wife is entitled to get maintenance who suppresses fact of getting scholarship from court?

Having considered the rival contentions of either side, what is an
admitted position is that the fact that the wife was getting scholarship from
the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur that too of an amount of
Rs.30,000/- per month, the same cannot be said to be a temporary source
of income as long as it is an income of the wife. Rs.30,000/- is not a small
amount and is definitely a good amount for any normal human being to
maintain a decent standard of life. Even if it is a development which had
taken place subsequent to the filing of the application under Section 125
CrPC even then the said fact ought to have been disclosed the Court while
the evidence of the wife was being recorded, and suppressing this fact
from the Court at that relevant point of time is not appreciable on the part
of the wife. The fact that she got a scholarship of Rs.30,000/- also gives an
indication of her capabilities and her competence and for drawing a safe
inference of the wife being qualified, able and a competent lady capable
enough of sustaining herself well.
In the given factual background of the case as narrated in the
preceding paragraphs, this Court is of the opinion that for want of these
material facts from the Court below, the conclusion arrived at by the Court
below cannot be said to be based on proper facts. Definitely if the fact of
the wife getting a scholarship of Rs.30,000/- per month would had been
established before the Court below then the possibility of either rejection of
the claim application or the quantum of maintenance amount also being
reduced substantially, cannot be ruled out. Thus, in the opinion of this
Court, the matter needs to be remitted back to the Court below so that
either party can lead sufficient evidence to establish their respective source
of income, particularly the wife so far as her source of income is
concerned.
HIGH COURT OF CHHATTISGARH, BILASPUR
CRIMINAL REVISION NO. 157 OF 2016
Dipak Verma, 
Versus
Smt. Rashmi Verma, 
Hon'ble Shri Justice P. Sam Koshy
Dated:01/07/2016
Citation: 2016 CRLJ(NOC)282 Chh

1. Challenge in the present Criminal Revisions is to the same order
dated 14.10.2015 passed by the Family Court, Durg in Misc. Criminal Case
No. 213 of 2015.
2. For the sake of convenience, the Applicant in Criminal Revision No.
157 of 2016 who is the Non-applicant in Criminal Revision No. 320 of 2016
shall henceforth be referred to as the 'husband'. Similarly, the Applicant in
Criminal Revision No. 320 of 2016 who is the Non-applicant in Criminal
Revision No. 157 of 2016 shall henceforth be referred to as the 'wife'. -2-
3. Since both these Criminal Revisions have been filed challenging the
same order dated 14.10.2015, the same are being decided by this
common order as the dispute is between the same parties and the
impugned order is also the same.
4. Criminal Revision No. 157 of 2016 is a revision referred by the
husband challenging the said impugned order granting maintenance of
Rs.10,000/- per month to the wife. Criminal Revision No. 320 of 2016 has
been preferred by the wife challenging the same order and seeking
enhancing of the amount of maintenance awarded by the Court below.
5. Facts relevant for the purpose of adjudicating these two revision
petitions are that both the husband, Deepak Verma and the wife, Rashmi
Verma entered into the marriage on 11.5.2011 as per the Hindu rites and
customs. However, soon thereafter it is said that the relationships between
the two got strained and it is the allegation of the husband that the wife had
started misbehaving with him and for petty issues she used to start
quarreling with him and would also start fighting with him. On the contrary,
it is the contention of the wife that just about after one year from the
marriage, the husband started ill-treating her and used to harass and
torture her on demand of dowry and would also assault her at regular
intervals without any reason and would always pester her parents to
provide sufficient dowry.
6. According to the wife, she was working at the Ambuja Cement Plant
at Bhatapara and was getting around Rs. 25,000/- but he put pressure
upon her to pay Rs.20,000/- and was taking away that money from the
wife. It is also stated by the wife that the husband in between had also
taken away all the ornaments which the wife had brought at the time of
marriage and had kept it with him. It is further alleged that the husband
used to frequently visit her wife at her parental home and would press her-3-
seeking for more dowry and would harass the wife and family members at
her parental home. As per the wife, the husband is working at Durgarpur
Steel Plant and is drawing a handsome salary yet he was pestering the
wife for getting more money from her parental home by way of dowry.
7. Meanwhile, the wife initiated a proceeding under Section 125 CrPC
seeking for grant of maintenance from the husband so that she can sustain
herself. According to wife, she did not have any source of income and
therefore for the sake of survival and sustenance she needed some
amount as maintenance from the husband and accordingly projecting the
husband to be a person with a handsome salary raised a claim for at-least
Rs.20,000/- per month so as to maintain the minimum decent standard of
living.
8. The said case was registered as Misc. Criminal Case No. 213 of
2015 and notice was issued to the husband who in turn appeared before
the Court below and submitted his reply categorically denying the entire
averments and allegations made by the wife and further he had alleged
that the entire claim of the wife itself was not sustainable for the simple
reason that she has also in between engaged herself in one of the
research work at National Institute of Technology, Durgapur as a Research
Scholar and she was getting a decent source of income sufficient to
maintain herself and therefore her claim under Section 125 CrPC deserves
to be rejected.
9. However, subsequently on account of a default on the part of the
husband he was proceeded ex-parte and the learned Court below finally
vide impugned order dated 14.10.2015 allowed the application of the wife
seeking for maintenance amount, by awarding an amount of Rs.10,000/-
per month payable to the wife by the husband. -4-
10. Subsequently, after the husband came to know about the passing of
the ex-parte order by the Court below, he has preferred a revision
(Criminal Revision No. 157 of 2016) before this Court assailing the
quantum as well as the entitlement of the wife. The wife at the same time
has also challenged the same order by way of a revision petition (Criminal
Revision No. 320 of 2016) before this Court seeking for enhancement of
the maintenance amount of Rs.10,000/- which has been awarded by the
Court below.
11. Learned Counsel appearing for the husband assailing the impugned
order submits that it is case where the wife is not entitled for any
maintenance amount firstly for the reason that she has sufficient source of
income and secondly that during the course of pleadings in the proceeding
under Section 125 CrPC she did not disclose the fact of her getting a
scholarship from the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur to the tune
of Rs. 30,000/- per month.
12. According to the Counsel for the husband on account of this act on
the part of the wife in not disclosing the material fact from the Court more
particularly the source of income that she had from the scholarship, the
entire proceedings deserve to be quashed and it should be held that the
wife was not entitled for any amount of maintenance.
13. Learned Counsel for the wife however opposing the petition
submitted that in the given facts and circumstances of the case more
particularly the fact that the husband was working at Durgapur and that he
was getting a salary of more than Rs. 65,000/- per month, the Court below
ought to have appreciated the standard of living which the husband was
maintaining with the strong salary package that he had and being his wife
she too was entitled to maintain a decent standard of life and therefore
considering his salary to be more than Rs. 65,000/- the amount of-5-
maintenance awarded by the Court below was to meager and it deserves
to be enhanced.
14. Having heard the rival contentions put forth on behalf of the
disputing parties what is an admitted position is that the marriage between
the two took place in the year 2011 and right from 2013 onwards the
relationship between the two got strained somewhere in the same year
they had started lived separately. Another aspect which has to be borne in
mind is the fact that the husband does not dispute the fact that he is
employed at Durgapur Steel Plant and it is also not disputed that the
husband was not getting a handsome salary. But what is to be considered
seriously is the fact that the wife in her entire petition seeking for
maintenance from the husband, except for making a statement that she
does not have any source of income and therefore she has been
compelled to file the maintenance proceeding against the husband, has
not disclosed to the Court about the scholarship of Rs.30,000/- that she
was getting from the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur. This by
any stretch of imagination can be clearly said to be a material suppression
of fact by the wife both in the pleadings as well as in the evidence that she
has adduced before the Court below. The suppression of fact becomes
more serious when the wife does not either accept the same or the fact
regarding her scholarship when in the written statement itself the husband
had disclosed this fact that she was working at National Institute of
Technology, Durgapur and was getting a scholarship of Rs.30,000/- per
month. If the wife would have disclosed this aspect to the Court below in
the course of her pleadings and evidence, this Court is sure that the Court
below would not have passed an order what it has passed vide the
impugned order. -6-
15. The fact that she is getting scholarship of Rs.30,000/- per month is
evident from the information provided by the National Institute of
Technology, Durgapur vide its letter dated 3.2.2016 to the husband under
the provisions of Right to Information Act. Thus, the act on the part of the
wife in not disclosing the actual facts so far as her employment and source
of income is concerned, the case of the wife deserves to be and should be
rejected.
16. On a specific query being put to the Counsel for the wife, Shri
Gupta, submits that it is not a regular employment that the wife has got for
her to have disclosed it to the Court. As is evident from the said report it is
only a scholarship and which cannot be equated with a regular pay scale
and therefore not disclosing of this fact to the Court would not make much
of a difference.
17. The Counsel for the wife further submits that this obtaining the
scholarship of Rs.30,000/- per month did not exist at the time of the filing of
the claim application. Secondly, the scholarship being a temporary sort of
contract it would not really in fact be a suppression of fact from the Court.
18. Having considered the rival contentions of either side, what is an
admitted position is that the fact that the wife was getting scholarship from
the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur that too of an amount of
Rs.30,000/- per month, the same cannot be said to be a temporary source
of income as long as it is an income of the wife. Rs.30,000/- is not a small
amount and is definitely a good amount for any normal human being to
maintain a decent standard of life. Even if it is a development which had
taken place subsequent to the filing of the application under Section 125
CrPC even then the said fact ought to have been disclosed the Court while
the evidence of the wife was being recorded, and suppressing this fact
from the Court at that relevant point of time is not appreciable on the part-7-
of the wife. The fact that she got a scholarship of Rs.30,000/- also gives an
indication of her capabilities and her competence and for drawing a safe
inference of the wife being qualified, able and a competent lady capable
enough of sustaining herself well.
19. In the given factual background of the case as narrated in the
preceding paragraphs, this Court is of the opinion that for want of these
material facts from the Court below, the conclusion arrived at by the Court
below cannot be said to be based on proper facts. Definitely if the fact of
the wife getting a scholarship of Rs.30,000/- per month would had been
established before the Court below then the possibility of either rejection of
the claim application or the quantum of maintenance amount also being
reduced substantially, cannot be ruled out. Thus, in the opinion of this
Court, the matter needs to be remitted back to the Court below so that
either party can lead sufficient evidence to establish their respective source
of income, particularly the wife so far as her source of income is
concerned.
20. As a consequence, the impugned order dated 14.10.2015 passed by
the Court below is hereby set aside/quashed and the matter is remitted
back to the Court below for passing a fresh order after again recording the
evidence of the parties, particularly so far as the wife getting a scholarship
of Rs.30,000/- per month and thereafter the Court below may pass a fresh
order. It is made clear that this Court has not expressed any opinion on the
merits of the case. The Court below shall be at liberty to pass an order
independently in accordance with law on its own merit without getting
carried away by any observation made by this Court while disposing the
present Criminal Revisions. 
21. It is with these observations, the Criminal Revision preferred by the
husband stands partly allowed and the Criminal Revision preferred by the
wife stands rejected.
 Sd/-
 (P. Sam Koshy)
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