The petitioner got married to a man from Palliamkara near Kalamassery, who is presently aged 38 years, in June 2008 and a male child was born to them. She was divorced in December 2013.
She filed a petition before an additional sessions court, under Section 3 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 claiming Rs 1 crore towards reasonable and fair provision for the future, Rs 1,50,000 towards maintenance during the ‘iddat’ period, for returning 70g of gold given as ‘mahr’, and Rs 1,41,680 as the value of 56g of gold given by her parents but taken away by her husband.
While the petitioner claimed that the man, who was a lab technician at a government healthcare institution in Qatar, had a salary of Rs 2,00,000, he contended that his salary was Rs 60,000. The lower court had held that the man had a salary of Rs 2,00,000, relying on the woman’s testimony that she had seen his salary certificate issued for applying for a family status visa while living with him in Doha. The court found that the woman and her child need at least Rs 33,000 per month for their livelihood. Reckoning the said amount for a period of 8 years, the magistrate granted Rs 31.68 lakh.
The order was challenged by the man before the Sessions Court, Ernakulam and it was set aside after considering a salary certificate produced by him.
After considering the petition, the high court said it is trite that the status of parties, the man’s capacity to pay maintenance, and other attendant circumstances should be kept in mind while fixing maintenance. The amount must be enough to take care of the future needs of a woman in the prevailing socio-economic scenario, the court said citing two of its earlier decisions.
The petitioner is an MSc in Chemistry, MTech in Industrial Catalysis and a BEd in Physical Science. She was a junior research fellow and was selected for a project work at Baba Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai in 2008-09. Her father is a reputed PWD B-class contractor and her brother and sisters are well settled. Similarly, the man’s family was also well settled and the standard of living of the couple was very high, the court noted.
No rebuttal evidence regarding the salary was provided by the man, as against the woman’s testimony, before the lower court. A salary certificate was produced only before the sessions court, the HC added.