HC holds NHAI official guilty of contempt over maintenance to his Moga-based estranged wife – chandigarh

Published by Razak Mohammad on

The Punjab and Haryana high court has held an official of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) guilty of contempt for not complying with the court orders in a matrimonial dispute case with his Moga-based estranged wife over maintenance.

The official, Rajesh Gupta, a general manager with New Delhi office, has been asked to comply with the June 2019 order within a month, failing which he will be imprisoned for two months with a fine of Rs 2,000.

Rajesh got married to the Moga woman in 1989 but the relations between the couple soured a year later and they started living separately.

In June 2019, the high court ordered him to pay the woman Rs 25,000 per month and their daughter Rs 20 000 per month from January 2012. While the future maintenance was to be paid monthly, the arrears were to be paid in three equal installments starting from July 2019.

Gupta, however, failed to comply with the order.

The 54-year-old woman and her 29-year-old daughter approached the HC in February this year, alleging non-compliance of court orders.

The petition says initially the maintenance was decided at Rs 500 per month but the woman approached courts in 2004 for the revision. It was in January 2012 that a Moga court revised the maintenance amount.

But when he did not agree to pay the revised amount, the matter reached the Supreme Court which referred it back to the high court that in June 2019 ordered Gupta to pay Rs 25,000 to his estranged wife and Rs 20,000 to their daughter from January 2012.

Of the total arrears of 16.83 lakh, only Rs 7 lakh paid till 2017 when the matter was pending in the apex court, the plea says.

The bench observed that Gupta has willfully and deliberately violated the court order. Even during the course of hearing, the counsel for the respondent on instruction avoided the question of payment of arrears of maintenance except claiming that the present contempt petition was not maintainable, it added.

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