Decide maintenance amount afresh, says court citing inflation

New Delhi: A sessions court here has directed a magisterial court to decide afresh a maintenance case in which it had awarded Rs 1,500 per month to a woman, saying the amount was “unrealistic” due to rise in cost of living in the national capital.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Lokesh Kumar Sharma asked the magisterial court to reassess the maintenance of Rs 1,500 and Rs 1,000 awarded by it to the woman and her minor daughter respectively and to “fairly” decide the new amount.
Apart from the maintenance, the magistrate had also directed the woman’s estranged husband to pay Rs 1,000 to her towards rent for an alternate accommodation.
“I find the figures to be unrealistic ones as in today’s era one cannot fetch any rented accommodation in Delhi for a meagre rent of Rs 1000 per month.
“Furthermore, the metropolitan magistrate had failed to appreciate the fact that the minor daughter of the woman would also be required to be admitted to school for her education as well and hence, an amount of Rs 1000 per month awarded to her is also a highly unrealistic figure.
“An amount of Rs 1500 as awarded to the woman for her maintenance till she had remarried or till she had lived has also no value in the present society considering the fact of inflation coupled with devaluation of the Indian currency and the rising cost of living in Delhi,” ASJ Sharma said.
The court’s observation came on an appeal filed by a woman seeking enhancement of maintenance amount awarded to her and her minor daughter by the magistrate in a case of domestic violence.
The sessions court partly allowed the woman’s appeal and remanded the case back to the trial court to “fairly” decide the amount, after assessing the present days circumstances.
“..The figures as awarded should be a realistic one and not merely to serve the purpose of disposal of the case so that the appellant (woman) should get some substantial justice from the court,” the judge said.
The woman in her appeal had prayed that at least a reasonable amount should have been awarded to her by the trial court which should have been fair enough to meet her daily expenses and needs, to live her life practically.—PTI