Wealthy wife ordered to pay maintenance to husband

Invoking the principle of gender equality, the Delhi High Court Thursday upheld a lower court order asking a woman, who runs a business with an annual turnover of about Rs.1 crore, to pay monthly maintenance of Rs.20,000 to her estranged, unemployed husband.

Justice G.S. Sistani upheld the trial court order of 2009 that awarded maintenance to Rajeev (name changed).

‘He should also enjoy the same status as his wife,’ Justice Sistani said.

He directed Priya (name changed) to pay Rs.20,000 per month to Rajeev, in addition to a Maruti Zen Car.

‘Law is equal for both of them. When husband is unemployed then the wife, who is working, should maintain him,’ said the court.

Priya had challenged the trial court order, saying a monthly payment of Rs.20,000 was on the higher side.

The couple married in 1982 and have a son and a daughter aged 26 and 24 years respectively.

Rajeev’s lawyer Bhupendra Pratap Singh has alleged that Priya and his children threw his client out of their home in 2006 after accusing him of having an affair with another woman.

‘The court also rejected Priya’s plea that as she was already looking after their children, she should be exempted from paying her husband a monthly maintenance,’ Singh said.

The court considered Priya’s flourishing business of a hotel cum paying guest in Greater Noida while fixing the maintenance.

Singh said Rajeev had purchased the hotel in his wife’s name.

‘Priya tactfully named herself as the first party in the business and property and threw him out after levelling baseless accusations,’ he said.

Rajeev had filed for divorce in 2008 in the trial court on the grounds of desertion. He later filed a maintenance plea under section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act

NGO ordered to pay Rs.75,000 for transparency law abuse

The Delhi High Court Wednesday imposed a cost of Rs.75,000 on an NGO which had sought an inquiry into the role of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) engineers in the alleged mismanagement of Commonwealth Games (CWG) projects.

The court dismissed the petition after the MCD submitted that the petitioner NGO, Pardarshita Public Welfare Foundation, had questioned the parentage of the engineers through a Right to Information (RTI) application.

Dismissing the petition, Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Manmohan said the present petition amounted to abuse of law.

‘Seeking information about the parentage of a person and his medical history is unwarranted and uncalled for. (Such) information is bound to create a storm in anybody’s mind,’ said the bench.

The bench said that the RTI law was not enacted for abusing people and seeking personal details.

While dismissing the petition, the court directed the petitioner NGO to deposit the cost of Rs.75,000 within a period of four weeks.

In its petition, the NGO alleged engineers of the MCD indulged in corrupt practices in connection with the several projects of the Commonwealth Games.

It alleged that several MCD engineers misused public money for personal gains.

‘According to the NGO, several letters were written to the officials of the MCD but no action was taken. Allegations have been made against the officials but without any grounds,’ said the bench.

The court also took strong cognizance of the RTI application filed by Har Kishan Das Nijhawan, general secretary of the NGO, asking an MCD engineer about his parentage.

He also asked whether the civic agency’s engineers were suffering from any sexual disorders, whether they had carried out a DNA test for their mother, whether their mother was a surrogate mother or step mother, and also sought the name of their biological father and step mother.

‘It’s an abuse of provisions under the RTI Act. We cannot give any type of clean chit to the MCD engineer, but the information which has been asked by the petitioner exposes vindictive attitude,’ said the bench.

The petitioner defended his move and said that the engineers were blackmailing him and also used unparliamentary language against him, so he asked certain questions through his RTI application.

The court rejected the contention saying that the petitioner could have filed a complaint against such people instead of abusing the process of law.