Financial Status of Father and Exorbitant Maintenance

FAMILYLITIGATION

a close up of a person holding a baby's hand
a close up of a person holding a baby's hand

In this case, the Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi Bench, adjudicated on a constitutional petition filed by Syed Zain Muntazar Mehdi challenging the judgments of the lower courts regarding maintenance, dowry, and delivery expenses. The case was heard on March 21, 2024, and was presided over by Judge Jawad Hassan.

Key Highlights:

Facts of the Case: Mst. Sara Naqvi, the respondent, filed a suit for the recovery of maintenance, dowry articles, and delivery expenses against the petitioner, Syed Zain Muntazar Mehdi. The Family Court decreed that the respondent was entitled to Rs. 10,000 per month as maintenance during her Iddat period and Rs. 40,000 as delivery expenses. Additionally, the minor children were awarded Rs. 10,000 per month each from May 30, 2020, with a 10% annual increase. The petitioner's appeal to the Additional District Judge, Rawalpindi, was dismissed.

Legal Contentions: The petitioner argued that the awarded maintenance was exorbitant and did not consider his financial status. He presented his salary slip from KPMG, which was allegedly not given due consideration. The respondent contended that the judgments were based on thorough consideration of all aspects and did not suffer from any errors.

Court's Analysis: The court reaffirmed the principle that a husband's obligation to maintain his wife and children is rooted in both legal and religious mandates, referencing Section 272 and 278 of Mohammedan Law by Mulla and the principles of "Nafqa" as defined in "HIDAYA". The court cited various precedents, including (PLD 2013 SC 557) and (2010 YLR 3275), which emphasize a father's duty to provide maintenance. The court found that the petitioner failed to provide sufficient and reliable evidence to contest the maintenance amount, relying solely on a salary slip that lacked authenticity and corroboration.

Conclusion: The petition was dismissed as it lacked merit. The court upheld the concurrent findings of the lower courts, emphasizing that no legal infirmity or miscarriage of justice was demonstrated.

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