A former central government employee has been told by the Delhi High Court to share his retirement benefits with his estranged wife and daughter for his failure to pay them monthly maintenance.
“Whatever amount the petitioner has received from the department as retirement benefits or as pension, the same shall be divided into three parts. The petitioner will keep one part and one part each shall be disbursed to his wife and daughter,” said Justice Suresh Kait in a recent order.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Kishan Lal Bhalla, who worked as an office assistant in a central government department, against a trial court’s order for paying a monthly maintenance of Rs.10,000 to his wife since 2009.
He also challenged the direction to pay Rs.1,200 per month to his daughter.
The petitioner told the court that the maintenance amount to his daughter was enhanced by the sessions judge in May, from Rs.1,200 per month to Rs.2,000 per month till her marriage.
He said he was paying the maintenance but in August he took retirement as he was not in a position to perform his duties after an accident.
“I am unable to pay the amount of Rs.12,000 per month,” said Bhalla.
Justice Kait said his wife was not earning and her daughter was still pursuing post-graduation. Her younger son lived with her and was unemployed. Her elder son was married and was living separately.
“The mother has to settle both the children and marry them. The petitioner has no liabilities, except to maintain himself,” the court said.
The petitioner’s wife and daughter shall be entitled for two-thirds of the pension of the petitioner instead of the amount as directed by the trial court, the court said.
“I modify the impugned order passed by the trial court and direct the defence estate officer (Delhi circle), Delhi Cantonment, to calculate the amount and accordingly disburse the same in favour of Bhalla’s wife. The same shall be kept in the joint account of his wife and daughter,” said the judge while disposing off the petition.
“Apart from the pension of Rs.10,080 per month, the petitioner was entitled to Rs.25 lakh as a retirement settlement,” said a lawyer representing Bhalla’s wife.