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Allahabad HC dismisses woman’s plea for hiking alimony from unemployed husband

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The Allahabad High Court has dismissed the application of a woman who had sought an increase in alimony from her unemployed husband.

A single-judge bench of Justice Om Prakash Tripathi passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Pratima Singh.

The criminal revision petition has been preferred against the order dated April 18, 2016 passed by the Principal Judge, Family Court, Mirzapur in Miscellaneous Case (Pratima Singh Vs. Pankaj Singh @ Dablu Singh), under Section 125 CrPC, Police Station Kachhawan, District Mirzapur, whereby the court has rejected the prayer of revisionist for grant of maintenance of Rs 8000 per month from Pankaj Singh and has granted monthly maintenance of Rs 2000 from the date of order.

The main grounds for the criminal revision petition is that impugned order is illegal, arbitrary and against the evidence on record. Revisionist has no source of income and she is unable to maintain herself and is totally dependent on her parental family.

Pankaj Singh was earning Rs 15,000 per month by doing a private job in Delhi. On the basis of surmises and conjectures, the trial court has fixed his income as Rs 6,000 per month.

He is a graduate and was working in a private job. Notional income of Rs 6000 per month has been fixed without any basis. No distinction has been drawn in respect of skilled and unskilled labour.

The revisionist has always been and presently desirous to live with Singh as his wife and it is he who is not willing to keep and maintain his legally wedded wife. The maintenance amount is too low and wanted it to be enhanced. From the perusal of impugned order, it is admitted fact that Pratima Singh is the legally wedded wife of Pankaj Singh.

The main point argued before the Court is that the amount of maintenance of Rs 2000 per month is very meagre whereas, the other side submitted that it is beyond the capacity of the husband as he is unemployed and not an earning hand.

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The Court noted, “On the basis of evidence on record, trial court had adjudicated that husband of the revisionist Pratima Singh is not doing any service but he has agriculture farming, he is a young man and on the basis of daily wage Rs 200 per day is Rs 6000 assessed the monthly income of the husband and keeping in mind the economical and social status of the parties Rs 2,000 per month awarded as maintenance by the husband to the wife.

The allegation alleged by Pankaj Singh that the revisionist is working in sewing, embroidering and beauty parlors and earning Rs 5000/- per month. Her father has 10 bigha kheti and is a Postman earning Rs 7000/- per month but such a fact was not alleged even in examination-in-chief of Pankaj Singh.

So, this fact is not proved and the court has come to the conclusion that the wife is unable to maintain herself. Wife has been living at the house of her father i.e her parental home from March 24, 2010, she is a graduate woman and not doing any service and no source of income, unable to maintain herself.

Revisionist Pratima Singh is ready to reside with her husband but husband is not ready to reside with her because she has lodged an FIR under Section 498A IPC against him and his father and in the said case, they were detained in jail.

Revisionist’s husband is the only son of his father. It is also submitted by the husband that his mother is suffering from cancer and she is under treatment. The husband has said in his statement that wife had filed a case against him and his father for which he was detained in jail, so he refused to reside with her. Service of Pankaj Singh in Delhi through private jobs is also not proved.

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Counsel for the revisionist also submitted the order of the Ministry of Labour and Employment dated September 30, 2016, September 19, 2013, in which, daily wages of the skilled and unskilled persons has been classified.

This is a revision, revisional Court has very limited powers only to adjudge the illegality and impropriety of the impugned order and has no power to re appreciate the evidence, the court said.

“The trial court has rightly adjudicated the amount of maintenance as Rs 2000 per month. So it is not proper to enhance the amount of maintenance from Rs 2000 to Rs 8000 per month as the husband is unemployed and has limited earnings. So far as the submission of the husband that maintenance amount of Rs 2000 per month is very excessive and liable to be set aside is also not tenable because keeping in mind the present inflation hike price of the goods, it is very difficult to manage even food of the revisionist. Thus, the maintenance amount of Rs 2000 per month is not liable to be minimized or enhanced,”

-the court observed.

The Court held that in fact an application for maintenance had been filed initially as Misc Case before Munsif Mirzapur on August 12, 2010. Application was dismissed ex-parte on July 16, 2014, in revision, the impugned order was set aside. This shows that the journey of the maintenance application started from August 12, 2010 and up till now no amount of maintenance has been paid to the revisionist, which is very disgraceful.

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“On the basis of above discussion, the revisional court is of the opinion that evaluation of finding of the trial court is not suffering from any illegality manifest error. Trial court has not overlooked the grounds of maintenance and evidence, as such, no interference is called for in the impugned order by the revisional court,”

-the court said while dismissing the revision petition.

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