A child’s right to maintenance is not restricted to his father paying for two daily meals only but must be determined on the basis of benefits he would have enjoyed as if he was living with his parents, a Delhi court has said.
The court’s observation came while directing a man to pay Rs 12,000 per month to his estranged wife for maintaining their eight-year-old son.
Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain rejected the appeal filed by the man against a magisterial court order directing him to pay Rs 12,000 towards the maintenance of the child and Rs 6,000 to the wife for her expenses every month in a domestic violence case lodged by her.
“The scope of his (father’s) duty is to be regulated directly in relation to the money, a status that he enjoys. The right to maintenance of a child from his father cannot be restricted to two meals a day but must be determined on the basis of benefit, status and money that the child would have enjoyed as if he was living with the family including mother and father,” the judge said.
The court accepted the contention of the woman, who got married in 1998, that she was beaten and tortured by her husband as their relationship got strained after he developed a relationship with their housemaid after six years of their marriage.
It also said that just because there was no medico-legal case for each time she was beaten, does not mean she was not tortured.
“It is true that there is no medico-legal case to support the allegations of the woman as to the incident of beating but it does not mean that no incident of beating had taken place or for every incident of beating, there should be the medico-legal case,” the court said.
In his appeal against the magisterial court order, the man claimed that he was earning between Rs 15,000-20,000 per month and had the liability to take care of his ailing father.
The court, however, said that the trial court has rightly assessed the husband’s income to be more than Rs 50,000 per month as a fitness trainer.
In her complaint, the woman had alleged that she had separated from her husband several times and had even approached the police but they reconciled after the man apologised and assured he would live peacefully with her.
She alleged that she finally separated from him in 2011 after the birth of her son in 2010 as the man stopped giving her money for household expenses and continued torturing her.
The man, however, had denied all the allegations and claimed that the woman maintained a lavish lifestyle, which was beyond his means.