Mumbai News: HC Quashes Sessions Court Order Reducing Maintenance Amount From ₹1.2 Lakh To ₹25,000

Mumbai News: HC Quashes Sessions Court Order Reducing Maintenance Amount From ₹1.2 Lakh To ₹25,000

The appellate court's order was completely bereft of any findings or reasoning justifying the reduction in the maintenance amount.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 09:27 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | PTI

The Bombay High Court recently set aside an sessions court order reducing  the interim maintenance payable by a man to his wife, who is in vegetative state, from Rs1.2 lakh per month to Rs25,000. 

The HC was hearing an appeal filed by the wife challenging the order of the sessions court deducting the maintenance amount awarded to her by the trial court under the Domestic Violence Act (DC Act). 

According to the plea, the couple married in 2016 and moved to the UK, where the husband was employed. In 2017, the woman suffered a medical condition which put her in a vegetative state. Later, her family brought her back to Mumbai. She then filed an application under the DV Act seeking maintenance from the husband.

The magistrate, on July 30, 2022,  considering the husband’s income in the UK, awarded a monthly compensation of Rs1.2 lakh to the wife. This was challenged by the husband before the sessions court, which reduced the maintenance  amount to Rs25,000 without giving any reasons.

The HC noted that the sessions court had not stayed the magistrate’s order and even acknowledged that the petitioner needed immediate financial help and that not a single paisa had been deposited by the husband towards interim maintenance. 

“The observations that there is not a single paisa deposited towards the interim maintenance and considering the overall facts and circumstances, the observations do not appear to be in consonance with the order which has been passed reducing the amount of maintenance,” Justice Sharmila Deshmukh said. 

The Thr judge also  said since there was no stay, the magistrate court's order remained operational thereby entitling the petitioner to the interim maintenance of Rs1.2 lakh per month.

The appellate court's order was completely bereft of any findings or reasoning justifying the reduction in the maintenance amount.

“Having once declined to exercise its discretionary power and stay the proceedings it was thereafter not open for the Appellate Court to review its own order and to reduce the amount of maintenance from Rs.1,20,000/- to Rs.25,000/- per month,” Justice Sharmila Deshmukh said. 

The judge added: “The order of the Appellate Code is completely bereft of any findings or reasoning on the basis of which reduction has been directed apart from the fact that the Appellate Court could not have reduced the amount of maintenance once having rejected the Application for stay.” 

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