Recently in a new judgement The Delhi High Court has held that the wife is not entitled to any maintenance if she fails to disclose truthfully her job and salary. On the one hand wife is highly qualified although that is not the criteria to deny her maintenance but on the other hand, she has not disclosed her job profile and working profile to the court hence maintenance was denied to her.
We on the facts as narrated above, agree with the conclusions of the
learned Principal Judge, Family Courts that the appellant not only is a
highly qualified lady, but has been working even at the time of her
marriage and thereafter. The documents and the admissions made by the
appellant clearly lead to an irresistible conclusion that she is employed in
the office of the M.P. It is no doubt that merely because a person is
qualified she must be compelled to work, but here is a case where in
addition to be qualified, the appellant has been working. There is no
doubt a difference between “capacity” and “actual earning”, but here it is
not a case where appellant had only the capacity but the document on
record clearly point out that she has also been working.
It is common for the wife’s side to hide her true income and it is now the duty of the husband’s side to expose the wife’s side if she is hiding her income. In such cases if you feel that the wife is working then in that case the husband on his own or should take the services of the legal investigator in such scenario.
The role of the husband or the legal investigator should be to find at least the company and designation of the wife’s side. It is okay if the husband is unable to find the exact account or salary credit details for this another technique of Section 91 CrPC comes into play.
Once the husband is able to find out about the wife’s side income-related details then an appropriate application of 91 CrPC is to be moved in court or under 151 CPC if it is 24 HMA. In that scenario, the husband side can get salary details directly from the order of the court.
Normally if such things are confronted in court which happened in the present case the court then asks the wife’s side for the disclosure and if the same is disclosed then the matter ends. Otherwise, the court has the power to summon the documents and things needed for the disclosure of the true income of the wife side.
The fact of the matter is that if the husband’s side does some hard work to find out about the income of the wife’s side then he will be saved from the maintenance in the long term. Many of my clients complain that many legal investigators do charge a lot of money but you see arrears of high maintenance, prolonged litigation as well as continuous maintenance will cost more in the long term.
My own experience
In one of my recent cases at Saket court, the wife’s side hid that she was working and earning 24000/- the husband’s side found out the company name, and the same was disclosed to the court by way of 91 application. the wife side brought her salary slip disclosing her salary. I argued that since the wife’s side has not disclosed her income honestly she is not entitled to any kind of maintenance and hence the maintenance was only awarded to the child and the wife’s maintenance was denied.
In another case also we found out bank details of the wife and we moved 91 CrPC application for this the same allowed wife to disclose her bank account details and it was found that she had heavy entries that were income from her job and later we found out about her job also. The court fixed maintenance to the wife at Rs. 0.
In another case, the wife’s maintenance was fixed to Rs. 0 as she was found to be earning more than the husband.
The large scheme of things are that if the wife is qualified and is earning she is not entitled to any relief from the court and hence maintainance can be denied in such cases