THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
+ CM(M) 79/2011
% Date of decision: 12th September, 2011
PUNEET KAUR ..... Petitioner Through : Mr. Ashok Chhabra with Mr. Sunjayjyoti Singh Paul,
INDERJIT SINGH SAWHNEY ..... Respondent Through : Respondent in person.
THE HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE J.R. MIDHA
1. Whether Reporters of Local papers may YES be allowed to see the Judgment?
2. To be referred to the Reporter or not? YES
3. Whether the judgment should be YES reported in the Digest?
CM(M)No.79/2011 and CM No.1756/2011
1. The petitioner has challenged the order dated 26th
November, 2010 whereby her application for maintenance
under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act was dismissed by
the learned Trial Court.
2. The petitioner claimed maintenance and litigation
expenses from her husband on the ground that she was unable
to maintain herself and her two children aged 13 and 16 years.
CM(M) No.79/2011 Page 1 of 12 The petitioner averred that she was not gainfully employed
and was receiving interest income of about `8,000/- to
`10,000/- per month from the investments whereas the
monthly expenses of the children were to the tune of `25,000/-
per month. The petitioner further averred that the respondent
was running the business of transport in the name of Bakshi
Transport Service and his income was more than `2,00,000/- to
`3,00,000/- per month.
3. The respondent contested the above application before
the learned Trial Court on the ground that the respondent was
unemployed and had no income. The respondent averred that
he was living like a pauper and had no money even for two
proper meals a day. He also stated that he had no shelter.
The respondent also alleged that the petitioner's annual
income was `3,00,000/- per month from three sources, namely
`1,00,000/- to `2,00,000/- per month from business, `60,000/-
per month from salary and `20,000/- per month from interest.
4. The learned Trial Court believed the respondent and held
that there was no material record to show that the respondent
had any income and, therefore, the petitioner's application was
CM(M) No.79/2011 Page 2 of 12
5. In Bharat Hegde v. Saroj Hegde, 140 (2007) DLT 16,
this Court laid down the following principles for fixing the
maintenance under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act:-
"4. Right to maintenance is an incident of the status from an estate of matrimony. Interim maintenance has an element of alimony, which expression in its strict sense means allowance due to wife from husband on separation. It has its basis in social conditions in United Kingdoms under which a married woman was economically dependent and almost in a position of tutelage to the husband and was intended to secure justice to her.
5. Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act goes a step further inasmuch as it permits maintenance to be claimed by the husband even against the wife.
6. While considering a claim for interim maintenance, the court has to keep in mind the status of the parties, reasonable wants of the applicant, the income and property of the applicant. Conversely, requirements of the non applicant, the income and property of the non applicant and additionally the other family members to be maintained by the non applicant have to be taken into all. Whilst it is important to insure that the maintenance awarded to the applicant is sufficient to enable the applicant to live in somewhat the same degree of comfort as in the matrimonial home, but it should not be so exorbitant that the non applicant is unable to pay.
7. Maintenance awarded cannot be punitive. It should aid the applicant to live in a similar life style she/he enjoyed in the matrimonial home. It should not expose the non applicant to unjust contempt or other coercive proceedings. On the other hand, maintenance should not be so low so as to make the order meaningless.
Read full judgment on nadeemqureshi1.wordpress.com