Allahabad HC Upholds Validity of Interim Maintenance: Minimum Support to Estranged Wives Essential for Dignity & Livelihood

LI Network

Published on: 30 August 2023 at 18:42 IST

The Allahabad High Court, while addressing an appeal contesting interim maintenance granted to a wife by the Family Court, has ruled that providing a minimum amount to the estranged wife from the date of her claim is vital to uphold her life and dignity.

The bench, composed of Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh and Justice Rajendra Kumar-IV, upheld the Family Court’s decision to award Rs. 7,000/- per month to the wife and her children for interim maintenance.

The court underscored: “Insofar as the award has been made from the date of the application, again, we find no good ground to interfere with the same. Minimum amounts are required to be provided from the date of the claim being made to ensure the life and liberty of the respondent/estranged wife involved in a matrimonial discord situation is preserved with minimal dignity.”

Case Background:

The case revolves around Mr. Pushpendra Singh (the “Husband/Appellant”) and Mrs. Seema (the “Wife/Respondent”), a couple with three children.

The wife filed an application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, seeking interim maintenance from the Family Court.

The Family Court granted her Rs. 7,000/- per month for sustenance and dignity for herself and the three children. Additionally, Rs. 10,000/- was allocated as a one-time legal expense.

The Husband’s Challenge:

The Husband contested the Family Court’s order in the High Court, claiming that the interim maintenance was excessive. He also alleged adultery on the part of his wife, implicating his brother as the adulterer.

High Court Decision:

The High Court noted that the Husband had been employed with the Central Paramilitary Force (ITBP) since December 2014, revealing a monthly salary of Rs. 40,032/-. While addressing the allegations of adultery, the court deemed it insufficient to challenge the interim maintenance order.

It highlighted the presence of three children who relied on the estranged wife, who lacked an independent income to sustain their livelihoods with dignity.

The Court asserted: “At the same time, it being undisputed to the appellant, the respondent is his married wife and there are three children born from their marriage and further it being undisputed, the respondent does not have independent source of income to sustain with dignity four human lives, pending litigation between the appellant and the respondent, we find, the amounts awarded are wholly minimal in the context of the entirety of facts and circumstances of the case.”

The Court stressed that the minimum amount must be provided to the estranged wife from the date of her claim to ensure her life and dignity are maintained. Consequently, the Court ruled that the Husband would face no coercive action, provided he pays the arrears in installments as determined by the Court.

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