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Bombay HC Orders Wife to Pay Maintenance to Husband

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Bombay High court Law Insider

Aastha Thakur

Published on: 12 August 2022 at 22:15 IST

Recently, Bombay HC held that the scope of Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 cannot be constricted by not making it applicable to a decree of divorce being passed between the husband and wife.

The case was heard by Justice Bharati Dangre, and she stated that, Section 25 has to be looked upon as a provision for destitute wife or husband. The provisions will have to be construed widely so as to salvage the remedial entailments.”

The present case was primarily initiated by the wife (petitioner) as she filed the divorce application under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, seeking dissolution of marriage on the ground of cruelty and desertion.

The application was allowed by the court, and the marriage was dissolved between the parties. However, in response, the husband filed a plea seeking permanent alimony from the wife for amount of Rs. 15,000/-per month.

The Ld. Judge of Session Court ordered a warrant of recovery of arrears to be issued against the wife and the amount payable to be deducted from her salary and deposited before the court. Aggrieved with the order passed by the court, the wife filed an appeal against it before the High Court.

Mr. Tombre, Counsel for the Wife, submitted that directing the wife to pay maintenance to the husband after the dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce would amount to a traversity of justice because once the relationship between the husband and wife is severed by a decree of divorce, there cannot be any claim made by either of them against each other.

Mr. Mewana, Counsel for the respondent, submitted that the provision contained in Section 25 of the Act of 1955 does not depend upon the outcome of the relationship subsequent to divorce since the section uses the word “at any time subsequent thereto.”

However, the Court hereby interprets the term “destitute wife/husband” given under Section 25 of the HMA while rendering the judgement in favour of the husband.