Husband Cannot Escape Maintenance On Basis Of Magazine Covers Depicting That Wife Is Into Modelling: Delhi High Court

  • Pankaj Bajpai
  • 06:09 PM, 07 Apr 2021

The Single Bench comprising Justice Subramonium Prasad of Delhi High Court has held that in maintenance proceedings, the onus to prove that the wife can sustain herself is on the husband and the same cannot be met simply by showing magazine covers depicting that the wife is into modeling.

The Court observed that though the respondent admits that she was modelling off and on but she was earning very low income from modelling, however that statement by itself does not mean that the respondent is able to sustain herself. 

Wife’s affidavit of income does not show that she is earning enough to sustain herself. The onus then shifts on the petitioner to show as to how much the respondent is earning and that is sufficient to maintain herself. 

The petitioner has not brought any evidence to establish that the respondent is earning sufficient to maintain herself. 

It is well settled and the Supreme Court has time and again laid down that newspaper clippings etc. are not evidence. Apart from filing a few covers of magazines and one newspaper clipping nothing has been filed by the petitioner to substantiate that the respondent is earning sufficient income to maintain herself. 

The petitioner at present is working as an ASI, both his sons are majors and are well employed and the petitioner is not under any obligation to maintain his two children but he is under a legal obligation to maintain his wife.

The Court further observed that the proceedings u/s 125 Cr.P.C have been enacted to remedy/reduce the financial sufferings of a lady, who was forced to leave her matrimonial house, so that some arrangements could be made to enable her to sustain herself. 

It is the duty of the husband to maintain his wife and to provide financial support to her and their children. A husband cannot avoid his obligation to maintain his wife and children except if any legally permissible ground is contained in the statutes.

High Court therefore directed the Petitioner to pay maintenance of Rs.17,000/- per month to the Respondent. 

Case Title: Jaiveer Singh vs Suneeta Chowdhary|Crl Rev P. 820/2018