Enhancing the maintenance amount payable by a husband to his wife, the Karnataka High Court observed that when he could maintain a fleet of cars and repay a business loan of Rs 7.72 lakh per month, he could surely support his partner and son.
Directing the apellant to pay maintenance of Rs 1.5 lakh per month to his wife as against Rs 75,000 awarded by the Family court, Justice M Nagaprasanna said, “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 leading a good life, the wife cannot be asked to lead a life which is lower than that of the husband that too taking care of the needs of herself and education of her son,” he said, allowing the wife’s plea for increasing the maintenance amount and dismissing the man’s petition challenging the lower court order.
The couple got hitched in 2001 and has a 21-year-old son. Both started a business together and later the wife transferred all her shares to the husband. She also set up her own companies.
In 2021, the wife filed a criminal case against the husband and another petition for annulment of the marriage. Her application seeking maintenance was allowed by the Family Court, which then reached the HC.
The husband’s counsel claimed that the wife had her own companies and was in a position to maintain herself. The man claimed to have a business loan which required him to pay Rs 7.72 lakh per month and, therefore, the maintenance amount of Rs 75,000 was on the higher side, which he cannot pay.
The wife’s counsel argued that “every month the husband spends Rs 12 lakh for himself and has a fleet of cars that he is maintaining. He is willing to maintain cars and not wife and his son.”
In its recent judgment, the HC said the social status of the wife and child has to be maintained by the husband. “Due regard should be given 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 a luxury lifestyle that can be demanded by the wife,” the single judge bench said.
“The wife in turn has also filed her assets and liabilities statement and the bank statement. Up to March 2022, the earning of the wife per month is Rs 47,736 while the expenditure of the husband per month even according to his indication is Rs 11 lakh,” it pointed out. Apart from the monthly maintenance of Rs 1.5 lakh, the HC also directed the husband to “pay litigation expenses incurred by the wife and educational expenses of the child.” PTI