Either of the Spouse Can Claim Alimony Under Section 25 Hindu Marriage Act : Bombay High Court

    Alimony Laws

    Bombay High Court orders the woman Teacher to pay alimony to the former husband.

    The pair married on April 17, 1992, and were divorced in 2015 after the wife filed a cruelty complaint, Following a divorce, the husband filed a petition demanding Rs. 15,000 per month, in permanent alimony from the wife.

    The husband claimed he had no source of income, despite the fact that his wife holds an M.A. B.Ed. and works at a university. He said that he managed the house while putting his personal desire aside in order to assist his wife to get her degree. Furthermore, he adds that the divorce had caused him a significant deal of embarrassment. His ill health and lack of immovable property were also cited by the husband.

    The woman on the other hand stated that her husband owns a grocery store and an auto-rickshaw, while he makes money by leasing out. She also had the burden of looking after their daughter. The judge, on the other hand, ruled that the husband’s petition under section 24 of the act which allows the spouse to seek interim litigation fees, is valid. As a result, it ordered her to pay Rs 3,000 in maintenance until the payment alimony case is settled.

    The local court had passed orders in this case in 2017 and 2019. Upholding the order in its February 26 verdict, justice Bharati Dangre of the Aurangabad bench of the high court ruled that the woman teacher should pay interim monthly maintenance of Rs. 3,000 to her ex-husband as per the direction of the civil court.

    The woman had approached the HC challenging a local court order passed by local court and directed the woman to pay alimony to her indigent former husband. The woman had contended that since she had divorced her husband in 2015, the lower court order should be quashed. The man had approached the local court seeking permanent alimony two years later.

    Justice Bharati Dangre rejected the wife’s contention that since the couple’s marriage had ended with a divorce decree in 2015, after nearly 23 years, the husband couldn’t now seek monthly maintenance.

    The civil court had also directed the headmaster of her school to deduct Rs. 5,000 from her salary every month and deposit the same with the court towards unpaid maintenance since August 2017. Justice Dangre said section 24 and section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act confer right on the indigent spouse to claim maintenance and upheld the lower court’s order.

    “The scope of section 25 of the act of 1955 cannot be constricted by not making it applicable to a decree of divorce being passed between the husband and wife…the provision of maintenance/permanent alimony being a beneficial provision for the indigent (needy) spouse, can be invoked by either of the spouses, where a decree of any kind governed by section to section 13 has been passed and marriage tie is broken, disrupted or adversely affected by such decree of the court”.

    The bench reproduced section 25, which states that an application for alimony can be sought at any time. Therefore, the divorce did not bar the court from entertaining the application. The scope of section 25, therefore cannot be restricted by holding that on divorce/dissolution of marriage, the wife or the husband cannot bring such proceedings.

    The bench further added that the civil judge had rightly entertained the plea for interim maintenance under section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act. The court also ordered the headmaster to deposit money with the court for arrears.

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    Also, Read –  https://indianlawinfo.in/four-mou-signed-between-india-and-turkmenistan/



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