The section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act provides Hindu wife to get interim maintenance when the divorce or other family court proceedings are pending. The act and the Indian courts has fixed certain criteria to calculate and assess the maintenance amount to be paid by the Husband to wife under S.24 of Hindu Marriage Act.
The Hindu marriage Act says that both the income of the wife and husband should be assessed before fixing the interim maintenance. Without determining the husbands income the court cannot fix the maintenance amount to the wife. Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act also provides maintenance to the husband from the wife.
On considering the income tax returns to fix the husbands income the court in VD Mehta V. KV Mehta states that the income tax returns do not reflects true position of income of a party for several reason, and cannot be taken as a sole guide for income of the party in maintenance proceedings.
If wife is taking the support of father and brother then also it is not considered in assessing the quantum of maintenance to be awarded by the court
cost of litigation
The cost of litigation shall also include what is spent by the applicant for travelling a distance from place of her residence to the court and if woman travels a long journey and require assistance than husband would required to pay the expenses for both the persons.
Maintenance of the Children
If Children are under the protection of the wife, the court will be justified in taking that circumstances into account in awarding maintenance to the wife. The Supreme court case in Jasbit Kaur sehgal V. District Judge Dehradun & Ors has held that no doubt section 24 of HMA talks about maintenance to wife during the pend ency of proceedings but this section cannot be read isolation and cannot be restricted meaning to hold that it is maintenance to the wife alone.
Husband Refused to pay maintenance
If the husband refuses to pay the maintenance amount then the execution of the order of maintenance is not only one remedy the wife can obtain, but stay on proceedings if initiated by the husband can also be obtained from the court.
Quantum of Maintenance
On fixing the Quantum of maintenance it should be determined from an estimate of monthly income allowing for uncertainties, total number of dependents including wife and then fixing share of respondent. The wife cannot claim the maintenance amount beyond reasonable amount.
Article by Chennai Leading Lawyer Mr.K.P.Satish Kumar M.L.
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