A Delhi court rejected a plea of a man who "impersonated himself as a pauper" to avoid paying monthly maintenance to his estranged wife, because he was the director of a company that has Indian star cricketer Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador.
Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Agrawal was hearing the appeal against the trial court's order granting Rs 30,000 maintenance to his estranged wife, according to Bar and Bench. He had challenged the order claiming he had "nil" income.
The Court noted that the husband was held to be a "man of means" and was trying to defeat the "legitimate maintenance claim" of the estranged wife.
"This court can take judicial notice of the fact that the brand ambassador of said brand is Virat Kohli, the test cricket captain of Team India. Therefore, it looks highly improbable that a company which is running into great losses (as claimed by appellant), was in a position to afford a celebrity of such stature for advertisement of its product," the court said.
The woman accused the husband of domestic violence and said that she had been living separately and did not have any livelihood.
The complaint was filed under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. The trial court had granted her monthly maintenance while assessing the man's monthly income to be Rs 1.
According to Bar and Bench, the husband argued the woman was not entitled for maintenance as she was educated and having considerable income from her business.
The woman, on the contrary, contended that her estranged husband's income ran into millions. She alleged manipulation on his part to show he was not earning enough.
"It appears that in the instant case also, appellant/husband withheld his true income from the court. It cannot be believed that a person who was capable of supporting a family by getting married, would all of a sudden become devoid of all sources of income," the Court observed.
The Court further noted that once the monthly income of the husband had been assessed at Rs 1 lakh per month, the interim maintenance of Rs 30,000 cannot be "unjustifiable or exorbitant" by any stretch of the imagination.
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