Seven-year jail for frivolous maintenance pleas

The Delhi High Court has made it mandatory that affidavits should be filed by both parties in a divorce case at the time of filing of a petition stating their clear sources of income.

Published: 10th September 2017 09:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2017 09:28 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has made it mandatory that affidavits should be filed by both parties in a divorce case at the time of filing of a petition stating their clear sources of income. The move comes after rise in frivolous maintenance pleas.

According to an order passed by Justice J R Midha, if affidavits are found to be exaggerated, then the party concerned (husband or wife) can be sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. “The woman seems to be trying to abuse the benevolent provisions of law. This section is designed to help the needy and not the greedy. It is not meant for settling personal scores, but it is experienced that it is often being misused,” the order reads. The High Court has issued directions to all the six trial courts of Delhi.

Affidavit Should State...

■ Sources of income
■ Details of movable and immovable properties
■ Number of cars
■ Rent income (if any)
■ Number of insurance policies
■ Kids’ education
■ No. of credit cards, bank a/c
■ Loans taken (if any)

The guidelines of the High Court to trial courts state that both petitioner and respondent in every case filed under section 125 of CrPC will have to disclose their movable and immovable properties, their source of income, their bank accounts, credit cards they hold, investments and their monthly expenses in an affidavit.

All the information stated in the affidavit shall be accompanied with relevant proofs of the same and any discrepancies found would attract penal provisions. This step will also put an end to rounds of litigations involved in deciding maintenance.

“It’s a welcome step as women can no longer exaggerate their estranged husband’s income and husbands too can’t show themselves as the poorest of the lot,” said advocate Sandeep Kumar.

The affidavit shall also include details about the lifestyle the couple used to maintain along with the expense on marriage, honeymoon, and gifts in marriage, number of cars, insurance premium, and number of mobile phones, loans and in case of kids, their school education.

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