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Kapil Chandna

Advocate, practicing in Supreme Court of India

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Hon’ble Delhi High in Manpreet Singh Bhatia vs Sumita Bhatia through Hon’ble Justice Pradeep Nandrajog  & Hon’ble Justice Pratibha Rani has reiterated the  factors to be considered while granting interim maintenance as reported in 140 (2007) DLT 16 Sh.Bharat Hegde Vs. Smt.Saroj Hegde and confirmed the order of the Sessions Court directing the Husband to pay the interim maintenance to the wife as well as the child towards the education of the child.

The Factors reiterated are as follows:- 

1. Status of the parties.

2. Reasonable wants of the claimant.

3. The independent income and property of the claimant.

4. The number of persons, the non applicant has to maintain.

5. The amount should aid the applicant to live in a similar life style as he/she enjoyed in the matrimonial home.

6. Non-applicant’s liabilities, if any.

7. Provisions for food, clothing, shelter, education, medical attendance and treatment etc. of the applicant.

8. Payment capacity of the non applicant.

9. Some guess work is not ruled out while estimating the income of the non applicant when all the sources or correct sources are not disclosed.

10. The non applicant to defray the cost of litigation.

11. The amount awarded Under Section 125 Cr.PC is adjustable against the amount awarded Under Section 24 of the Act.

 

Court’s Observation:- 

The provisions of Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 are beneficent in nature and the power is exercised by the Court not only out of compassion but also by way of judicial duty so that the indigent spouse may not suffer at the instance of the affluent spouse.

The Court while considering the merits of an application for grant of an interim maintenance has to necessarily arrive at prima- facie determination about the earning capacity of the rival claimants. The determination cannot be made with exactitude; it is essentially interim in nature. The Court is called upon to make a summary consideration of amount which the applicant is to be awarded by way of maintenance pendente-lite and litigation expenses in accordance with the financial resources of the parties.

Capacity of the other party to earn cannot be taken into consideration – it is only the actual earning of the opposite party on the basis of which relief can be granted. Permanent income and not casual income is relevant. For example if a husband brings on record that the non- applicant wife earns some amount by taking coaching classes for children, this cannot be termed as her permanent income or that the wife has independent permanent source of income. The proceedings being summary, the matter has to be decided on the basis of pleadings supported by affidavits and the documents that may be filed by the parties in support of their case.

The Hon’ble court in this case has clearly kept the objective of Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 into consideration and dismissed the appeal directing the husband to pay the maintenance to the wife and the children towards the education of the child


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