Maintenance plea: Can’t rely on I-T returns alone, says HC
By Team Legistify / 2017-10-09

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MUMBAI: Doubling an interim maintenance for a woman and her two minor children to Rs 10,000 each, the Bombay high court held that income tax returns cannot be relied on while assessing an estranged husband's income.

"Whatever income is given to the Income Tax authorities in the 'returns' may not be necessarily reflecting the true picture...the court has to take into consideration the lifestyle of parties and all other aspects," said Justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi in a recent order.

Picture Courtesy- LRS

The HC observed that the husband in the case "has made every attempt to conceal his real income to avoid the payment of maintenance.'' The wife had moved the court for enhancement of the "meagre" monthly Rs 5,000 each that a family court had awarded her and their two minor school-going kids on her maintenance plea. Her case was that the family court ought to have awarded a maintenance of Rs 2 lakh per month, as his family was into a "gold and silver business" with a shop in south Mumbai. The husband's case was that he was an "employee'' in a family-run shop and earned "not more than Rs 20,000" monthly. In its order, the family court passed last May had relied on his I-T returns. But the HC observed that various assets mentioned by him in 2011 reveal that he holds "securities and assets" and the returns "reflect that he and his family is...earning substantial income".

The HC relied on a Supreme Court ruling too which earlier this year had observed how " it has become a matter of routine that as and when an application for maintenance is filed, the non-applicant becomes poor displaying that he is not residing with the family members, if they have a good business and movable and immovable properties, in order to avoid payment of maintenance ."

( Source - PTI )


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