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HC relies on NRI's e-mail profile to raise maintenance for estranged wife

Mumbai: An e-mail profile of an NRI businessman, Rahul Luthra, portraying him a rich man with ownership of an export car house company and having a passion for cars, has landed him in a soup with the Mumbai high court asking him to pay Rs30,000 maintenance to his estranged wife. This is more than double the amount fixed by a family court earlier.

The family court had ordered businessman, Luthra, to pay Rs8,000 to his wife and Rs4,000 to his daughter per month as maintenance after he disclosed that he had limited means of income.

However, e-mail profile created by Luthra was produced before the High Court by his wife Rashmi saying it projected him as a rich person and owner of a company based in Dubai.

Being aggrieved by the family court order, Rahul, Indore-based businessman, had moved the High Court seeking reduction in maintenance to Rs2,000 per month. His wife too filed an appeal in the High Court seeking Rs 30,000 per month as maintenance.

Justice PB Majumdar and Justice RV More observed in a recent order, "from the e-mail it is clear that he himself has stated that he runs a business in Dubai, is owner of Imperial Academy and has houses in Indore, Delhi, Mumbai and Dubai."

The bench rejected Luthra's claim that he was engaged in a low paying job saying "the husband has resorted to falsehood and tendered false evidence to deprive his wife and child from getting a reasonable amount of maintenance".

"From the evidence it is evident that the husband has sufficient income and is required to maintain his wife so that she can continue to live in the same manner in which she used to stay in her matrimonial home earlier," the judges said.

The high court refused to believe Rahul's claim that he was no longer owner of Imperial Academy and was a software developer with a firm. It also rejected his argument that his father had bequethed the property to his mother.

The judges observed that he had fabricated documents only to deprive his wife and child maintenance due to them. Rahul and Rashmi got married on November 16, 2005 in Mumbai.

They had a daughter who is now three years old. After two years of marriage,the wife filed for divorce alleging cruelty and in the court both agreed for a mutual divorce.


PTI Wednesday, October 7, 2009

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