MAINTENANCE UNDER HINDU MARRIAGE LAW

LAW OF MAINTENANCE

➢Personal Obligation-Duty-Legal Right

➢Principle of Natural Justice

➢Word “Maintenance” is of wide connotation.

Section 3(c) of the Hindu Adoption & Maintenance Act, 1956  defines the word “maintenance” as:

“in all cases, provisions for food, clothing, residence, education and  medical attendance and treatment; in the case of an unmarried daughter, also the reasonable expenses of  and incident to her marriage.”

➢Alimony may be awarded as a lump sum, for a limited period or for an indefinite period.

➢Law of Maintenance differs in Personal & Secular laws since  Personal Laws necessitates “matrimonial litigation” whereas  under Secular Law (Cr.P.C.) it does not require matrimonial  litigation.

➢So here the position of Law of Maintenance depends upon:

1)Matrimonial Litigation (Mixed remedy)

2)Without matrimonial litigation (Independent remedy)

STRUCTURE OF LAW OF MAINTENANCE IN INDIA:-

  • Hindu Adoption & Maintenance Act, 1956
  • Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
  • Shariyat Act, 1937/Quran/Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.
  • Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939.
  • Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872.
  • Parsi Marriage & Divorce Act, 1936.
  • Section 125 to 128 of Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.

Rational behind the of Law of Maintenance:

  • Failure or Neglect to maintain “someone” who  is in “relation”
  • Natural duty to maintain.
  • Equitable or Moral Obligation

CASE LAW:-

In the case of Bhagwan Dutt Vs. Kamala  Devi (1975 CrLJ 40), it was observed that:  “The object of these (Sec.125 and 126 of  Cr.P.C. provisions is to compel a man to perform his moral obligations which he  owes to the society in respect of his needy  dependents so that they are not left  beggared and destitute on the scrap heap  of the society thereby driven to a life of  vagrancy, immorality and crime for  subsistence”

Requirements for “Claim” of Maintenance:

  • Inability of person to maintain himself/herself.
  • Failure or neglect by the person u/obligation.
  • Persons must be ‘related’
  • Statutory Obligation to maintain

WHEN CAN MAINTENANCE BE CLAIMED?

  • During the subsistence of marriage
  • During  the  pendency  of  the  any  Matrimonial  Relief (Maintenance pendent lite).
  • After obtaining decree of Divorce.

THERE ARE 2 TYPES OF MAINTENANCE NAMELY:-

  1. INTERIM MAINTENANCE:-This maintenance is paid from the date of filing of the petition to the date of the dismissal of the suit. Its main purpose is to meet the immediate needs of the petitioner. It is the amount which is paid by the person who is financially independent and upon whom the other person is financially dependent. This amount includes the expenses of the proceeding as well as other expenses during the course of the proceeding.
  2. PERMANENT MAINTENANCE:–  It is the amount which is been paid by one party to another after the judicial proceeding i.e. result is the dissolution of marriage or judicial separation

 

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Under Section 24

Section 24 in The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings. –

Where in any proceeding under this Act it appears to the court that either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding, it may, on the application of the wife or the husband, order the respondent to pay to the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding, and monthly during the proceeding such sum as, it may seem to the court to be reasonable:

Section 24 entitles not only the wife but also the husband to claim maintenance pendente lite on showing that he has no independent source of income.

Matter may be brought before the Family Court.

Section 25- PERMANENT ALIMONY AND MAINTENANCE Any court exercising jurisdiction under this Act may on application made to it for purpose by either the wife or the husband order that the respondent shall pay to the applicant for her or his maintenance and support such cross sum or such monthly or periodical sum for a term not exceeding the life of the applicant and any such payment may be secured, if necessary, by a charge on the immovable property of the respondent. If the court is satisfied that there is, a change in the circumstances of either party at any time after it has made an order , it may at the instance of either party, vary, modify or rescind any such order Matter may be brought before the Family Court.

MAINTENANCE IS CARRIED ON UNDER SECTION 125 OF  CR.P.C, BUT WITH THIS ARTICLE WE ARE KEEPING IT TO THIS DOMAIN. 

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