The Supreme Court has taken a serious view of a husband’s failure to pay maintenance amount to his wife and issued a show cause notice to him as to why his property should not be attached for recovery of the amount with arrears.

A Bench of Justices Gyan Sudha Misra and Pinaki Chandra Ghose also issued a contempt notice for not complying with its order directing appellant Satish Kumar Illa to pay Rs. 15,000 every month to his wife, Anuradha Illa of Viziyanagaram in Andhra Pradesh, as interim maintenance. He was directed to pay her Rs. 1 lakh towards the maintenance arrears. In its earlier order, the Bench had said, “This arrangement is purely ad hoc and without prejudice to the rights and contentions of both parties. Let there be no default. We further direct that in the event of the petitioner’s taking up any job either in India or abroad, it will be open to the respondent-wife to move this court for appropriate orders, if so advised.”

In the recent order, the court, after hearing counsel Ranjan Mukherjee for the husband, and counsel L. Sarveswar for the respondent-wife, issued contempt notice and ordered show-cause.

Mr. Mukherjee submitted that he had communicated to the appellant to comply with the orders passed by the High Court and as also by this Court but he had refused to do so. In view of the appellant’s attitude, he should be allowed to be discharged from this matter.

The Bench, in its order, said: “counsel is at liberty to file an application in this regard. The Registry is directed to issue a contempt notice on the petitioner-husband at the address given in the special leave petition as also through his counsel as to why he should not be called upon to appear, and punished for committing contempt of the order of this court dated 30.7.2013 and why attachment proceedings should not be issued for realisation of the amount of maintenance. The notice be made returnable within three weeks.”

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