Leander and Rhea's messy domestic violence battle takes a shocking U-turn!
The magistrate is not allowing Rhea Pillai any more maintenance money, but they are also not letting Leander Paes go scot-free. Here's why!
After living together for a decade and becoming parents to daughter Aiayana, tennis star Leander Paes and Mumbai-based lifestyle coach Rhea Pillai separated in 2013.
However, that was just the beginning of a murky fight that ensued between the two and was splashed across papers.
While Pillai has since been fighting a bitter sole custody and maintenance battle with her ex-partner and trying to prove that she lived in the capacity of his wife; Paes alleges that this wasn't a marriage because they were technically not married.
But now this fight has taken a shocking turn with a revelation that will take you aback!
Pillai's pleas rejected by the court!
Pillai revealed in the court that her daughter Aiayana has a brain tumour and reportedly claimed that Paes was "not a good a father," since he wasn't footing her maintenance bill.
In her application, Pillai asked the Magistrate to allow her to receive interim maintenance (money till the case is settled).
However, her plea was rejected because she herself stated a while back that Paes had in fact, cleared a medical bill of Rs 10 lakh for his daughter's treatment.
Her application also admitted (as stated in Mumbai Mirror) that Paes had "regularly paid Pillai Rs 1.56 lakh as monthly maintenance."
Pillai however added that this money was not enough and she even had to take a loan amounting to Rs 30 lakh to take care of her expenses. She also demanded Rs 2.62 lakh as maintenance as opposed to the Rs 1.56 lakh she was being given.
Paes was fulfilling his duties as a father, says court
But the magistrate rejected this plea and even called her out for her 'luxurious lifestyle.' But they are looking into his taxes from 2004-2006 to 2017-18.
"[Pillai's] Prima facie admission clears that respondent No 1 (Paes) pays expenses for medicines, hospital and regular payment which is required for day-to-day necessities, and being a father, his duty is fulfilled," observed the magistrate.
No need for more maintenance!
The magistrate also added that the main purpose of interim maintenance is to provide food, clothing and basic necessities to a woman and child "based on their original standard of living."
This need not be luxurious but "modestly consistent with the status of the family." Therefore, she stated that she did not find any weight in Pillai's pleas for asking more maintenance money from her ex-partner.
But Paes refused to give Pillai the status of a wife?
While this was settled by the court, the two ex-partners were also fighting out a domestic violence case against each other.
In Pillai's 2014 domestic violence application she said, "Paes has always given priority to his own life and neglected the child and her feelings. He has been an absentee father. Besides being out of country for nearly 10 months of the year, he is also not reachable for days at length. The minor keeps trying to contact her father via calls, text messages, etc, but does not get a return call or reply for the longest."
She also alleged that she deserved to be called a 'wife' because they lived in the capacity of a married couple and even had a child together. However, Paes alleged that since they were not married, she was not entitled to anything including a wifely status or even maintenance.
With growing tensions between the two parties it was decided that the case will be finalised within six months, but it looks like this is only getting murkier.
India still unaccepting of modern relationships?
Even though the Supreme Court ruled last year that live-in relationships are now acceptable in India, it seems that there are still many hurdles for modern couples.
The honourable court had categorically stated that "if a man and a woman lived like husband and wife" for a long period and had children, then the judiciary would presume that the two were married and the woman would be eligible to inherit the property after death of her partner."
Now with this case, it remains to be seen how our so -called 'modern' society defines a women in a live-in relationship.