It can’t get funnier than this. A director of the company that has Virat Kohli as brand ambassador refused to give Rs 30000 maintenance to his estranged wife claiming he has “nil” income and lives on “charity”.
Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Agrawal was hearing the appeal of a man against an order of the trial court granting Rs 30,000 maintenance to his estranged wife. He had challenged the order claiming he had “nil” income and lived on charity.
The Court, however, found that he was a director of the company that manufactured a product promoted by the cricketer.
“This court can take judicial notice of the fact that the brand ambassador of the 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 the appellant), was in a position to afford a celebrity of such stature for the advertisement of its product,” the court said.
The wife’s counsel had placed on record a wrapper of the product.
Therefore, the husband was held to be a “man of means” having a large business and appeared to be “impersonating himself as a pauper” to defeat the “legitimate maintenance claim” of the estranged wife.
The woman had alleged domestic violence against the husband claiming she had been living separately and did not have any means of livelihood.
Her complaint filed under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, sought various reliefs besides the interim maintenance. The trial court had granted her monthly maintenance while assessing the man’s monthly income to be Rs 1 lakh.
The husband argued the woman was not entitled to maintenance as she was educated and had 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 order 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.