High Court asks cop to pay maintenance to estranged wife

Refusing to grant relief to a police officer challenging the Rs 16,000 maintenance he was directed to pay to his estranged wife and children, According to the Bombay High Court, “The cop is seen to be living comfortably than his known source of income would permit.”

Justice Roshan Dalvi was hearing a petition filed by the police officer Sainu Virkar challenging an order passed by the family court directing him to pay maintenance of Rs 8,000 each to his wife and children.

Virkar claimed that he was a mere policeman who earns only Rs 15,822 every month and hence cannot afford the maintenance amount. Virkar’s salary slip shows his gross pay as Rs 26,278. He, however, told the court that after deductions and monthly expenditures he is left with only Rs 15,000.

Virkar’s estranged wife Shobha, however, refuted the claims made by her husband and said aside from his income as a police officer, he accepts bribes and has quantified the bribe amount to Rs 50,000 each month.

Shobha also claimed that her husband has income coming in from his five acre agricultural land.

Accepting the wife’s contentions, Justice Dalvi said, “The petitioner (Sainu) is seen to be living comfortably and is also seen to manipulate his salary sheet.”

According to the court, “It may be that proceedings under the Prevention of Corruption Act may or may not be taken against the petitioner, but upon a specific plea of the wife, and given the nature of public officers like police officers, who are seen to be corrupt, those statements cannot be brushed aside.”

It also held that the revenue records of Virkar’s agricultural land show that onion, cotton, jwar and wheat are grown there. “The land is, therefore, capable of yielding cultivation and consequently income. It is not fallow land,” the court said.

Refusing to quash the family court order, the high court directed Virkar to pay Rs 16,000 maintenance.

High Court tells husband to pay wife despite his unemployment, illness

The Bombay High Court has dismissed an appeal of a man to waive off interim monthly maintenance of Rs 5,000 to his wife as he was sick and unemployed, ruling that the payment should be made regularly until the divorce petition was disposed of.

On this Justice Roshan Dalvi said, “Pending the petition, the interim maintenance would have to be paid. No case for any alteration or modification of the impugned order is made out”

The High Court gave this order while dismissing a petition filed by Suryakant Tiwari challenging an order of a lower court to grant revised maintenance of Rs 5,000 per month instead of Rs 8,000 granted earlier. The petitioner had not paid any maintenance and was in arrears.

He claimed that his employment was terminated because he was so ill that he could not stand. He produced various certificates and pathological reports which showed that he had HIV+ status, arthritis and TB susceptibility. Tiwari said that he is suffering from all diseases and hence the order asking him to pay maintenance to wife may be quashed.

However, the court said that this aspect of illness would have to be seen at the trial when the petitioner submits himself to cross examination and seeks to prove various illness certificates.

The petitioner further claimed that he spends Rs 3,900 per month for his HIV treatment. To this claim, the Court noted that this also would have to be separately proved.

“Mere producing of petitioner’s bills do not show that they refer to the petitioner or that the monies are paid by him. The prescriptions for these medicines would also have to be proved,” Justice Dalvi said.

The petitioner is an engineer. He was working and earning a salary of Rs 19,000 per month. That has been discontinued after his termination. He claimed to have got another job which is also terminated.

The Court noted that the petitioner had completely thrown his hands up without giving any positive evidence about his job or illness. In the interest of justice, he should pay interim maintenance until the petition is decided, the judge ruled.

HC quashes order giving divorce to husband exparte

Observing that a court should use its discretion, the Bombay High Court has set aside an order of a civil judge in Baramati, who refused to condone the delay made by a woman in an application urging to dismiss a divorce decree granted to her husband ex-parte.

Saying that this was a fit case where the concerned judge should have deemed proper to exercise his jurisdiction, Justice Roshan Dalvi recently quashed the order of Baramati Civil Judge passed on July 9, 2004, refusing to condone the delay made by the woman in making an application.

The High Court judge observed that the concerned judge ought to have heard her application for setting aside the decree of divorce on merits. “The delay if any, which has been refused to be condoned is seen to be deserving of condonation and hence condoned”, Justice Dalvi said.

The High Court asked the concerned judge to expeditiously hear the plea of the wife for setting aside the decree of divorce dated December 31, 2001, on merits.

The woman, Snhel alias Nandini Ghante, pleaded that she was not served at her last known residence. She said that this fact had been admitted by the respondent husband in his cross-examination, which has been stated in her application.

“Once it is seen that the petition was not served at the last known address of the petitioner, the divorce decree would be required to be reconsidered,” Justice Dalvi observed.

The judge noted that the divorce decree was passed on December 31, 2001. Husband, Dattatraya Ghante, has since remarried. The right of wife to claim maintenance may yet be not affected, even despite the remarriage of the husband.

“Such merits of the case are most material to bear in mind by a court whilst considering the right of a party in having the matter re-agitated on the ground of want of service and in considering the validity of decree of divorce in the first place,” Justice Dalvi remarked.

The court noted that the divorce decree having been passed was served upon the woman on June 14, 2002. Hence she obtained the knowledge of the decree from that date. It is her case that she got a mental shock and was hospitalised from June 15, 2002 to June 27, 2002. However, she had not produced any hospital records.



Kripashankar Singh case: SIT submits probe report to court

A special investigation team (SIT) probing the unaccounted wealth cases against former Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh on Thursday submitted its confidential report to the Bombay High Court.

The SIT report came following Feb 22 directives of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi to Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik to probe the allegations against Singh. The ruling came on a public interest petition taken up by the court.

A former minister of state for home and presently a legislator from Kalina (Santacruz east), Singh and his family members were accused by social activist Sanjay Tiwari of possessing huge assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

Tiwari, who had filed the PIL, also accused the Congress leader of being linked to the money-laundering scams involving former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda.

The SIT report, which came three days after the Mumbai Police submitted a status report on the probe before the Supreme Court, was taken on the record by the high court here Thursday.

The developments follow a case registered against Singh and his family members Feb 28, besides raids at several properties owned by them in and around Mumbai.

Singh has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act and Arms Act after a large quantity of bullets, beyond the permissible limits, were found from his house during one of the raids.



Court tells National Defence Academy to ease security norms

The Bombay High Court Thursday directed Pune’s National Defence Academy (NDA) to ease security restrictions imposed on the road leading to the tri-services institution, a lawyer said.


The directions, spelling a setback for the NDA, came on a bunch of public interest litigations (PILs) challenging the institution’s move to restrict movement of people and vehicles on the five-km long NDA Road on security grounds,” said Sandeep Salunkhe, lawyer for some of the petitioners.


“Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi of the Bombay High Court have directed NDA to relax barricades for three kms from Chandni Chowk side to Khadakwasla side, where NDA is situated,” Salunkhe told .

 However, the judges have allowed security precautions like metal detectors, frisking and certain parking restrictions.

 Last Monday, several petitioners, including Yogi Holiday Resorts, Shrushti Enterprises, Oasis Club, Garden Resorts and individual joggers, S. Pimpalkhare and S. Tama had moved the court in writ petitions.


The petitioners claimed that the NDA has illegally barricaded a public road leading to its sprawling campus, which was causing great inconvenience to the public at large.


Advocate Girish Kulkarni, who represented NDA, contended it was not in a position to relax the security norms.


A day later (Tuesday), the court sought replies from the central government, the NDA and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) over the issue.


On its part, the NDA argued that these (security) measures were thrust upon it by the continued violation of existing rules by vested interests and the lack of will to resolve the long pending security related issues.


The NDA contended that in recent years, the unchecked proliferation of commercial ventures has started attracting large crowds on the NDA Road, posing a security threat to the institution spread across more than 8,000 acres and housing over 15,000 people, including staff and students.


The NDA has moved the top PMC authorities, and the Pune district collector and sought a meeting with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to resolve the matter.