Refusing to grant relief to a police officer challenging the Rs 16,000 maintenance he was directed to pay to his estranged wife and children, the Bombay High Court has said the cop is "seen to be living comfortably than his known source of income would permit".
Justice Roshan Dalvi was hearing a petition filed by the police officer Sainu Virkar challenging an order passed by the family court directing him to pay maintenance of Rs 8,000 each to his wife and children.
Virkar claimed that he was a mere policeman who earns only Rs 15,822 every month and hence cannot afford the maintenance amount. Virkar's salary slip shows his gross pay as Rs 26,278. He, however, told the court that after deductions and monthly expenditures he is left with only Rs 15,000.
Virkar's estranged wife Shobha, however, refuted the claims made by her husband and said aside from his income as a police officer, he accepts bribes and has quantified the bribe amount to Rs 50,000 each month.
Shobha also claimed that her husband has income coming in from his five acre agricultural land.
Accepting the wife's contentions, Justice Dalvi said, "The petitioner (Sainu) is seen to be living comfortably and is also seen to manipulate his salary sheet."
"It may be that proceedings under the Prevention of Corruption Act may or may not be taken against the petitioner, 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," the court said.
It also held that the revenue records of Virkar's agricultural land show that onion, cotton, jwar and wheat are grown there. "The land is, therefore, capable of yielding cultivation and consequently income. It is not fallow land," the court said.
Refusing to quash the family court order, the high court directed Virkar to pay Rs 16,000 maintenance.