Gulshan Gupta vs Dr. Seepika Jaiswal on 25 May, 2022

Gulshan Gupta vs Dr. Seepika Jaiswal

Introduction: The case of Gulshan Gupta versus Dr. Seepika Jaiswal pertains to an appeal against an order passed by the Additional Principal Judge, Family Court (Second), Gorakhpur in Matrimonial Case No. 1049 of 2019, concerning an application filed by the respondent-wife under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Background: The respondent-wife sought interim maintenance and litigation expenses from the appellant-husband, alleging cruelty and dependence due to a strained relationship, which led her to leave her matrimonial home and seek treatment for a mental illness. The court below awarded Rs. 25,000/- per month as interim maintenance and Rs. 1,00,000/- as litigation expenses to the respondent-wife.

Key Arguments: The appellant contested the maintenance claim, asserting that the respondent-wife still practiced medicine at KK Hospital, owned substantial assets including two four-wheelers and a significant bank balance, which were not disclosed. The appellant argued that the respondent’s failure to file the prescribed affidavit of disclosure of assets and liabilities, as mandated by the Supreme Court, warranted adverse inference.

Court’s Observations: The court noted the absence of the required affidavit from the respondent, acknowledging the necessity of compliance with the Supreme Court’s directive for disclosure of assets and liabilities in maintenance proceedings. It observed that the respondent’s failure to file the affidavit raised questions about asset suppression.

Court’s Decision: Setting aside the lower court’s order, the court directed the respondent to file the necessary affidavit within two weeks, as mandated by the Supreme Court’s ruling. The appellant was also instructed to file a rebuttal affidavit within the same period. Subsequently, the lower court was directed to reconsider the application for interim maintenance in light of the Supreme Court’s guidelines within four weeks.

Conclusion: The judgment highlights the importance of adhering to procedural requirements, particularly regarding the disclosure of assets and liabilities in maintenance proceedings. It underscores the principle of fair disclosure and the consequences of non-compliance with court directives, emphasizing the need for transparency in matrimonial disputes. The decision ensures that both parties have the opportunity to present their financial positions accurately, facilitating fair and just adjudication of maintenance claims.

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