Justice S N Dhingra of Delhi High Court gives a judgment which bars a woman who was having a prior mutually agreed divorce settlement from filing a fresh maintenance case on husband. The interesting part is that court slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on the woman for filing a frivolous and vexatious case. See news below:
The Delhi High Court Monday slapped a fine on a woman for contempt, taking serious note of the fact that she had concealed she was employed and continued to claim maintenance from her husband, and filed cases against him despite an undertaking to court.
Justice S.N. Dhingra slapped a fine of Rs.10,000 on Manjit Kaur for concealing the facts from the court and violating the undertaking she gave in another court in Jalandhar that following her divorce she will not file any case against her husband after settlement.
“Where a person after concealing the material facts about her own employment and about the undertaking given to the court, files an application for maintenance just to harass the opposite side (husband), this amounts to violation of undertaking given by her,” the judge said.
The interesting part is that per se the court is not barring woman from filing maintenance, but only referring to violation of a particular clause of the mutual divorce agreement between the ex-couple.
The court also took note of the fact that the woman was working as a teacher in a school in Jalandhar but did not disclose it before the court and claimed maintenance of Rs.3,000 per month.
Despite a final settlement between the two in 2000, the woman filed petitions against her husband and violated the undertaking that she will not harass him or his family members.
The court directed the woman to seek maintenance for herself after her retirement from her present job, and said, “Claim maintenance after disclosing pension and other income and properties to the court which she holds in Delhi or at other places.”
Which means that per se she is not barred from seeking maintenance again. But why even this generous suggestion to claimant wife who is fined by court! See, your honour, one point is that HMA 25 which deals with alimony is not one-sided but gender neutral. So the court could well have advised husband to — “retire from present job, and claim maintenance after disclosing properties and sources of income”. Just doing my bit to legal knowledge and jurisprudence he he…