Decided on July 20,1983

Patel Ramjibhai Bhagwanbhai Appellant
Shardaben Sitaram Patel Respondents


A.P.RAVANI, J. - (1.) This revision application has been preferred by the original opponent wife in H. M. Petition No. 8 of 1981 of the court of Civil Judge (S. D.), Mehsana. The said petition was filed by the opponent herein (husband) praying that the decree of divorce be passed in his favour on the ground that the petitioner-wife-original opponent had deserted his society without any reasonable cause. It appears that the suit was filed sometime in January 1981. The petitioner-wife appeared in the petition and resisted the same and also filed an application Exh. 6 on February 22, 1981 under section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act and prayed that the opponent-husband should he directed to pay maintenance at the rate of Rs. 500 per month and also should be directed to pay Rs. 1,000 to meet with the cost of litigation. In the application the petitioner-wife stated that she had no independent source of income and that she was staying with her brother and mother. On the other hand, she stated, the opponent-husband had considerable income and he was earning about 1,000 per month and that his rental income was Rs. 40,000 per year and his income from agriculture was to the tune of Rs. 15,000 per year. The petitioner-wife filed affidavit in support of the aforesaid allegations.
(2.) The application was resisted by the opponent-husband. The opponent-husband inter alia submitted that his income was only to the extent of Rs. 1 5,000 per year by way of rent from landed property. He also contended that the petitioner-wife was earning Rs,300 to Rs. 350 per month from tailoring work. The trial Court did not believe the version of the opponent-husband that the petitioner-wife was earning Rs. 300 to Rs 350 per month or that she was earning anything at all. The trial Court also did not believe the version of the opponent-husband that his income was only Rs. 1,500 per year by way of rent. Therefore the trial court held that the petitioner-wife had no independent income sufficient to maintain herself and to meet with the necessary expenses of the litigation. Therefore the trial court held that the petitioner-wife was entitled to claim maintenance and was also entitled to claim amount of expenses for litigation. However, the trial court ordered that the opponent-husband should pay Rs-100 per month by way of maintenance pendente lite with effect from February 23, 1981 and should pay Rs. 250 towards the cost of litigation to the petitioner-wife. The trial court passed this order on July 18, 1981. It is this order which has been challenged in this revision application by the petitioner-wife praying that the amount awarded should he enhanced.
(3.) It is the allegation of the petitioner-wife that the opponent-husband is staying in America and he is earning about 1,000 per month. It is also alleged that the opponent-husband owns 10 Vighas.of agricultural land. The trial court has not believed that the income of the opponent-husband is only Rs. 1,500 per year. Once the trial court has not believed this version of the opponent-husband, it is not understood as to on what basis the trial court arrived at a figure of Rs. 100 per month for awarding maintenance to the petitioner-wife. The trial court has not taken into consideration the following two important aspects: 1. The opponent-husband could go to America and do business there and that even according to the admission of the opponent-husband, the rental income from his property is Rs. 1,500 per year." A person who could go to America and who owns this much property must be having other income and his status in the society (where the status is measured by ones' possession and ownership of property) would he very high. The parties belong to the Patel community and they appear to be hailing from reasonably higher strata of the society. It does appear that the opponent-husband is a man of means. In this view of the matter, the maintenance amount awarded by the trial court requires to be enhanced.;

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