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Breaking NewsDelhi HC orders Omar Abdullah to pay Rs. 1.5 Lakh monthly maintenance...

Delhi HC orders Omar Abdullah to pay Rs. 1.5 Lakh monthly maintenance to estranged wife


Omar claimed his estranged wife Payal was cruel to him and would not pay her monthly expenses:

 Read the story that led to this unpleasant situation:

By Northlines News Desk

The Delhi High Court ordered former and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to pay Rs 1.5 lakh per month in maintenance to his estranged wife Payal Abdullah on Thursday, August 31. In addition, the Court ordered him to pay Rs 60,000 per month for his sons' .

The order comes after Omar's estranged wife Payal, who was Payal Nath before marrying Omar Abdullah, challenged the trial court's order on April 26, 2018, ordering Omar to pay Rs 75,000 per month to Payal Abdullah and Rs 25,000 to their sons in proceedings under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Payal claimed that the maintenance awarded was insufficient and that their sons were not old enough to handle their own bills and had to rely on their parents to cover their education and daily living expenses.

According to reports, Abdullah has filed an appeal with the Delhi High Court against this decision. He claimed that he has never shied away from his responsibility to his sons and has always paid for their upkeep.

Omar Abdullah announced his divorce in 2011.

Omar and Payal have been at odds for several years, with the former claiming that their marriage had irreparably broken down and the latter treating him cruelly. The saga began in September 2011 when then-Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced his divorce from Payal Abdullah, to whom he had married in 1994.

Following the announcement, rumours circulated that Omar was planning to remarry and that his friendship with a television anchor had caused problems in his relationship with Payal. Ruling out the rumours at the time, Abdullah stated that speculation about his future course of action was unfounded and untrue, and that it had caused hurt to all parties involved in the decision. “The stories about my remarriage are entirely false and fabricated.” It's a shame that no effort was made to ask me whether any of this is true while repeating these lies,” he added.

Omar and Payal met while working at The Oberoi Hotel in Delhi. At the time, Omar was a young marketing professional working for the same hotel chain. They married under the Special Marriage Act on September 1, 1994, and had two sons, Zahir and Zamir.

Payal is a Delhi native with ancestors from Lahore, Pakistan. Major General Ram Nath, her father, was an army officer.

Omar filed for divorce on the grounds of marital cruelty.

Almost a year after the separation announcement, Omar Abdullah filed for divorce from Payal Abdullah in 2012, citing cruelty in marriage. However, the woman filed a petition through her lawyer, Amit Khemka, claiming that cruelty in marriage was an illogical argument.

In 2016, a trial court dismissed Omar Abdullah's divorce petition, ruling that he had failed to prove an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” and his claims of “cruelty or desertion” by his estranged wife.

Payal Abdullah has been issued an eviction notice.

Later, in June 2016, the Estate Officer of the government served Payal Abdullah with an eviction notice, asking her to vacate the sprawling bungalow on Akbar Road in Lutyens' Delhi. The bungalow at 7, Akbar Road was originally assigned to Omar Abdullah by the Ministry of Urban Development in 1999 when he was an MP from Srinagar. When he became CM in 2009, he kept the house. However, once his term as CM ended in 2005, he no longer had the right to remain in the house. However, his wife, who had divorced him by that time, continued to live in the Lutyens bungalow and refused to leave.

Payal then applied to a Delhi Court in July 2016 for a stay of eviction. She claimed that the central government had allotted the property to her husband and that the Estate Officer of the J&K government had no right to demand the eviction.

Payal's lawyer, Amit Khemka, also stated that till Payal and her sons are entitled to alternate government housing, the Centre will not evict them until that housing is provided. He also claimed that the lady and both her sons had ‘Z' category security and Z + security, respectively, and that it was impossible to house around 100 security guards to protect the lady and her sons in such a small apartment.

However, the trial court dismissed her appeal against the eviction order issued by the estate office of Jammu Kashmir and ordered her to vacate the government house. She then appealed the verdict to the Delhi High Court. However, she received no relief from the High Court too.

The Delhi High Court ordered Payal Abdullah to vacate the Akbar Road bungalow on August 17, 2016. The court maintained that the aforementioned bungalow was intended for the state Chief Minister. “The petitioners' (Payal and her sons') right to keep this accommodation is completely illegal.” It is a government concession. “The petitioners have no claim or right to it,” said Justice Indermeet Kaur.

Payal had also claimed that she might not receive the same level of government protection in her small city flat. However, the Centre informed the court that there was no imminent threat to her and that the protection was provided as a result of the general threat perceived by Kashmiri terrorists as a result of her family's relationship with the Abdullahs. The Centre also stated that the security threat in Delhi was not as severe as it was in Jammu and Kashmir.

On August 23, of that year, the estranged wife of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was evicted. The Court also stated in the eviction order that Payal and her sons would continue to receive government security.

The eviction was carried out in 2016.

It is worth noting that during Payal's court battle to keep the house, Omar Abdullah stated that he is no longer in possession of the premises and that the estate office is free to take whatever steps are deemed necessary to take over the property.

Meanwhile, on August 31, 2016, the family court in Delhi dismissed Omar Abdullah's divorce petition, ruling that refusal to divorce does not constitute cruelty in marriage. The Court also stated that the politician failed to prove the ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage'. It was also stated that there was no evidence to prove that Payal had been cruel to him.

“The petitioner (Omar) has not been able to explain a single circumstance that has erupted to show that the supervening circumstances have made it impossible for him to continue his relationship with the respondent (Payal).” Rather, evidence shows that they were in constant contact until the divorce petition was filed…there is not an iota of evidence in regard to the circumstances that prompted the petitioner to file the divorce petition,” then-Principal Judge Arun Kumar Arya was quoted as saying.

Payal Nath asked for Rs 15 lakh in monthly maintenance

Following her eviction, Payal Abdullah petitioned a city court for Rs 15 lakh per month in maintenance from her husband, claiming that she and her children had become homeless and penniless as a result of their eviction from the government residence. She filed a petition requesting that Omar pay her Rs 10 lakh in maintenance and Rs 5 lakh per month to her sons. She also stated that the eviction had exposed them to security risks.

The petition also stated that she had been forced to shuttle to space at the homes of her friends or elderly parents following her eviction and that she had been subjected to a great deal of torture and harassment. Payal also stated that Omar's unreasonable withdrawal from marriage on completely unjustifiable grounds had caused her enormous distress.

Payal stated that she was never interested in divorce and claimed that Omar had neglected her and her sons since 2013. “He refused to maintain us in any form despite having sufficient means to do so,” the woman complained, demanding restitution for tarnishing her public image.

Omar refused, claiming that Payal earned enough money to live a lavish lifestyle.

The case continued as Omar Abdullah refused to pay his estranged wife maintenance, claiming that she earned enough money to live a lavish lifestyle and thus was not entitled to any. “She (Payal) has greater means than respondent (Omar), which has been tried to conceal,” Omar's counsel said in court.

Payal's counsel, Jayant K Sud, refuted the claims, claiming that Payal was completely reliant on her father. “Omar's claims that she is a director of three companies are also false because they are all defunct and were started by him.” Payal always gave her all to uphold the institution of marriage and was never interested in divorce. “She hoped he would return and fulfil his responsibilities as a father and husband,” the counsel was quoted as saying.

Payal challenged the trial court's award of Rs 75,000 per month maintenance.

On April 26, 2018, the trial court granted Payal Abdullah provisional maintenance of Rs 75,000 per month and Rs 25,000 to their son until he reached the age of 18 in proceedings under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Payal then appealed the order, claiming that the maintenance awarded was insufficient and that their sons were too young to handle their own bills and had to rely on their parents to cover their education and daily living expenses.

Later that month, in April 2020, the Court issued a circular demanding that both parties in the case agree to a final hearing. Omar challenged the circular in November 2020, claiming that his wife was not cooperating with the final hearing, which had been pending since 2017. The Delhi Court dismissed the said plea, stating that his estranged wife's lack of cooperation was not grounds for challenging the High Court's earlier order.

Due to the Court's limited operation during the COVID-19 outbreak, the court issued a circular stating that the final hearing of pending matters would be held only if both parties agreed. However, Omar claimed that the case was being delayed due to his estranged wife's lack of cooperation.

Notably, Abdullah has filed an appeal against this ruling of 1.5 lakh maintenance with the Delhi High Court yet again.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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