High Court Alters Maintenance Order to Wife in Landmark Decision

In a significant legal development, the Delhi High Court modified a maintenance order under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, in the case numbered MAT.APP.(F.C.) 196/2023. The judgment, delivered on November 21, 2023, has stirred debates on family law and financial responsibilities during divorce proceedings.

Background of the Case

The couple got married on November 19, 2018, following Hindu customs and ceremonies. However, on July 7, 2020, the wife moved back to her parents’ home due to disagreements between the couple. On January 27, 2021, the wife filed a complaint against the husband and his family members under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWVD Act). The court ordered the husband to pay ₹21,000 per month as maintenance to the wife in an order dated December 12, 2022. The husband also filed a divorce petition against the wife in the Family Court. In response, the court issued an order under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA), directing the husband to pay ₹30,000 per month as maintenance pendente lite to the wife, along with litigation expenses.

Contentions and Court's Ruling

The husband’s appeal argued that the maintenance amount was increased without a change in circumstances. The court considered the husband’s gross salary of ₹1,04,276 in May 2022, contrasting it with a claimed in-hand salary of ₹47,784. The wife, a graduate working as a receptionist, contended for the enhanced maintenance.

Court's Scrutiny of Finances

The judgment carefully examined the financial aspects, including the husband’s salary deductions and the wife’s employment status. The court noted discrepancies in claims about the wife’s income, emphasizing her responsibility to seek gainful employment during divorce proceedings.

Image of Delhi High Court. Text overlay says "Delhi High Court Alters Maintenance Order to Wife"

Adjustment of Maintenance

After thorough deliberation, the court modified the maintenance pendente lite to ₹21,000 per month from the date of filing until disposal. Because of inflation and rising prices, the court has decided to increase the monthly maintenance payment during divorce proceedings by ₹1,500 for each year the case is ongoing. This means that the maintenance will be ₹22,500 per month starting from January 1, 2024, ₹24,000 per month starting from January 1, 2025, and so on, until the case is resolved.

Legal Implications

This judgment has wider implications for divorce cases and financial responsibilities. It emphasizes a nuanced approach to maintenance, considering the financial capacities of both parties.

In conclusion, the court’s decision in MAT.APP.(F.C.) 196/2023 introduces a nuanced perspective on maintenance in divorce proceedings. The judgment underscores the importance of fair financial responsibility, ensuring neither party bears an undue burden during legal processes.

Download Judgment

Click above to download this Judgment in the case titled MAT.APP.(F.C.) 196/2023. It can serve as a valuable resource for legal reference.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top