The Karnataka High Court has held that if a husband is living a good life, wife cannot be asked to lead a deprived life. It has enhanced the amount of maintenance to the wife.

The Court was dealing with writ petitions preferred by the husband and wife against one solitary order passed by the Additional Principal Judge and sought quashing of the order granting maintenance and the other by the wife seeking enhancement of maintenance.

A Single Bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna observed, “Due regard should be had to certain relevant factors like social status of the parties and the kind of life that the wife and son were living while they were all staying together. It is not luxury life style that can be demanded by the wife. When the husband is or has been in the realm of luxury lifestyle, the wife and the son, in the considered view of the Court, cannot be left in the lurch. If the husband has been living a good life, the wife cannot be asked to lead a life which is lower the life than that of the husband that too taking care of the needs of herself and education of her son.”

The Bench said that there is no warrant to interfere with the awarding of a sum of Rs. 75,000/- as maintenance by the concerned Court in terms of its order.

Senior Advocate K. Suman appeared on behalf of the petitioner while Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari appeared on behalf of the respondent.

In this case, the petitioner/husband and respondent/wife got married and had a child of 21 years. In the husband’s companies, the wife had certain share holdings and the husband was said to have executed a gift deed registering the house in favour of the wife. As per the wife, the house originally belonged to her father. The averment in the petition filed by the husband was that the wife allegedly driven him out of the house while the wife asserted that the husband had deserted her and the son.

The wife was to said to have been threatened by the husband, asking her to resign from her post as Director of various companies started by him. After coming out of the said companies, the wife started a company partnering with her sister and then, began the saga of legal proceedings between the husband and the wife. The wife registered a complaint against the husband for the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 403, 406, 420, 506 of the IPC and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2008. She also sought maintenance of Rs. 2,00,000/- and education expenses including litigation expenses at Rs. 5,00,000/-. The Family Court, however, granted Rs. 75,000/- maintenance.

The High Court in view of the above facts noted, “… if the case at hand, is considered qua the assets and liabilities statement of both the husband and the wife, it would become a case for enhancement of maintenance; not to the extent that the wife seeks in the petition, but to a certain extent, as the qualification of the wife cannot be brushed aside.”

The Court added that the wife’s plea that she has no avocation would not mean that she is incapable of getting an avocation and that she has sustained herself all along.

“… I deem it appropriate to grant enhancement of maintenance owing to the aforesaid facts, assets and liabilities statements of parties qua their qualification, from `75,000/- to `1,50,000/- per month and litigation and educational expenses of the son from the date of filing the application before the concerned Court”, ordered the Court.

Accordingly, the High Court rejected the writ petition.

Cause Title- Deeepali Lengade v. Sandeep Lengade & Anr.

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