HC asks ‘corrupt cop’ to pay estranged wife maintenance as large as his take-home
Constable Sainu Virkar’s wife told the court that he brought home Rs 50,000 in bribes every month
Posted On Friday, December 28, 2012 at 09:36:00 AM
The Bombay High Court has taken into account a cop’s income from sources other than his salary to grant his estranged wife’s demand for monthly maintenance, after she told the court he brought home nearly Rs 50,000 a month in bribes. Constable Sainu Virkar of Thane police will now pay his wife Shobha Rs 16,000 a month, which is a little more than his monthly take-home, official that is.
Though Virkar refuted his wife’s claim about his ‘other sources of income’ and demanded that she produce proof, Justice Roshan Dalvi went by the public perception of government servants such as police officers being corrupt.
“It may be that proceedings under the Prevention of Corruption Act may or may not have been initiated against the petitioner (husband), but upon a specific plea of the wife, and given the nature of public officers like police officers who are seen to be corrupt, those statements cannot be brushed aside, at least for the benefit of the petitioner,” the judge observed.
Justice Dalvi was hearing Virkar’s plea against a family court’s order, directing him to pay his wife an interim monthly maintenance – Rs 8,000 for her own needs and Rs 4000 each for that of their two teen-aged children. Virkar and his wife are locked in a bitter divorce battle since May last year when she filed a divorce petition in a Thane family court through advocate Ravindra Sankpal. The petition was later transferred to the Bandra family court.
Virkar countered his wife’s divorce petition by filing his own demanding restitution of conjugal rights in July last year.
Virkar’s petition in the high court said his monthly salary is Rs 26,278 per month and that after various deductions, he takes home Rs 15,822, which is Rs 178 less than the maintenance he must now pay his wife.
The family court’s order came in July. Though the family court had rejected Virkar’s wife’s contention about his ‘extra income’ in absence of any proof, it upheld her demand for maintenance. The family court had then observed, “There is no proof that he is involved in illegal practices. Even if it is assumed that he is, it is the duty of the petitioner (his wife) to inform the Anti Corruption Bureau about the same.”
The family court had also rejected Virkar’s wife’s claim that he annually earned Rs 4 lakh from a piece of agricultural land in Satara.
In his appeal in HC seeking a lower maintenance amount, Virkar had also showed expenses like society maintenance, electricity bills and home loan repayment.
However, the high court refused to accept these arguments. The court observed that he had not produced any agreement for the EMI amount. It also said that while the flat was purchased in 2004, the application for home loan was made only in April last year, just a month before his wife filed for divorce.
On the electricity bill, the court observed that his monthly spend of Rs 1220 was rather high for an income of just under Rs 16,000. “The petitioner is seen to live comfortably and is also seen to manipulate his salary sheet,” the judge said.
Virkar, who has filed an appeal against this order through advocate Dinesh Kadam, said he has done his best for the upkeep of his estranged wife and two children.