A wife cannot claim enhanced maintenance from her husband, working abroad, by converting his income into Indian currency, Delhi High Court has ruled, saying he has to spend much more as the cost of living is higher in that country.
A bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani observed this while dismissing an appeal filed by the wife seeking enhancement of maintenance on the ground that her husband was working in Dubai and had no other liability except to maintain her.
A trial court had in November 2014 granted her maintenance of 5,000 per month along with Rs 2,000 per court visit for attending the hearing on a divorce plea filed by the husband and Rs 500 as dearness allowance per court visit.
The woman had filed a plea before the trial court seeking maintenance of Rs one lakh per month from the husband besides travelling and boarding expenses. She had approached the high court seeking enhancement of maintenance.
"If a person is working in Dubai, he earns in the currency of that country and spends also in that currency. So it is not open to the wife to just convert his income in Indian currency and then seek enhancement. The court has to consider the cost of living as per the living standards in country where he is employed," the high court said in its judgement.
The bench also noted that the trial court had passed the order granting maintenance to her after considering the earning capacity of both of them and the "actual earning of the husband who, though working in Dubai, has to spend more as the cost of living is high there".
The husband, employed as a shop supervisor in Dubai, had filed a divorce petition before the trial court in 2013.
After the woman filed a plea before the trial court seeking maintenance, her husband had contested it saying she was a qualified Ayurvedic doctor earning Rs 50,000 per month.
The man had also claimed that his mother was bed-ridden as she was suffering from brain tumor and he had to spend on his travel to India to see her.
The high court, while dismissing her appeal, observed that she had already been awarded "reasonable maintenance" as per the income and liability of her husband.
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