MUMBAI: A businessman‘s photographs of taken at various international destinations and uploaded on nailed his lie that he couldn‘t afford to pay maintenance to his estranged wife and child.
Bombay high court held the income-tax returns furnished as proof did not paint the entire picture of his financial condition. Justice Manish Pitale upheld a family court order directing him to shell out Rs 25,000 as monthly maintenance to his wife and minor son.
“The material on record gives an impression the husband is deliberately creating a scenario of penury only to deprive his wife and son of interim maintenance,” said the judge.
The bench referred to his lifestyle and the frequent international trips he had made on business visa. It rejected the man‘s claim that this was in connection with his work in a Gurgaon firm and the huge sums of money he had withdrawn belonged to his clients.
“A perusal of the passport shows he has been travelling to , , and to the UK,” the judge said and dismissed the man‘s claims that the huge expenditure incurred by him on foreign trips were to arrange trips for wildlife enthusiasts. “The explanation is not convincing in view of certain Facebook posts placed on record, showing (him) flaunting photographs of wildlife taken in various parts of the world, using expensive camera and equipment,” the judge said.
The court held his lifestyle indicated he could afford to pay the interim maintenance.
In 2015, the family court had ordered the businessman to pay the maintenance. The businessman challenged the order in high court contending he could not afford to do so due to his “meagre salary”. The businessman also pointed out his wife was an architect and could earn a living.
The high court said the husband could not be allowed to take advantage of the claim that his wife was educated. The court ruled she was entitled to a lifestyle similar to that of her husband while proceedings were pending in the family court.
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