Deductions from man’s salary towards facilities benefiting himself can’t be excluded while deciding quantum of maintenance to wife under CrPC: Karnataka High Court

Court says if such deductions are taken into consideration then there would be a tendency by the husband to create artificial deductions

Published - March 04, 2024 09:57 pm IST - Bengaluru

Deductions from a man’s salary towards various facilities benefiting him cannot be counted, while deciding the quantum of maintenance to be awarded in favour of his wife under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), said the High Court of Karnataka.

If such deductions are taken into consideration, “then in every petition filed under Section 125 of CrPC there would be a tendency by the husband to create artificial deductions making an attempt to show lesser take-home salary with an intention to mislead the courts” to show an inability to pay maintenance or to ensure a lesser amount as maintenance, the court observed.

Petition dismissed

Justice Hanchate Sanjeevkumar made these observations while dismissing a petition filed by a man. The petitioner had questioned the August, 2023, order of a family court in Mysuru, which had directed him to pay a maintenance of ₹15,000 and ₹10,000 per month to his wife and his three-year-old daughter, respectively.

The man’s plea for divorce and his wife’s pleas for restoration of conjugal rights and for maintenance were pending before the family court.

“If the courts find that the deductions are artificial deductions then the courts have to consider the entire evidence on record on all its preponderance of probabilities while deciding quantum of maintenance amount,” the HC said, while pointing out that the petitioner has tried to show deductions from his salary just to negate the payment of maintenance.

Deductions shown

Noticing that the petitioner, who is a manager of nationalised bank’s branch, earns a gross salary of about ₹1.01 lakh, the HC said that he has tried to show more than 50% as deductions towards Provident Fund contribution, house rent recovery, furniture recovery, loan obtained by him, life insurance premium and festival advances, etc., apart from income and professional tax.

However, the HC said that all these deductions, accruing to the benefit of the petitioner himself, cannot be considered while deciding the quantum of maintenance amount, as deductions towards income and professional taxes only can be excluded from the salary of the husband.

For example, the HC said if the man raises a loan for the purchase of a site, house or car, the deductions made from the salary towards such loan amount cannot be a ground for awarding a lesser maintenance amount to the wife as such deductions are for the benefit of the man himself.

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