Maintenance Under Hindu Marriage Act During Pendency Of Proceedings When either the wife or the husband has

no independent income for his or her support and for the necessary expenses of the proceedings, an application can be made either by the husband or wife to the court and the court may order the respondent to pay the expenses of the proceeding and such sum as maintenance as the court seems reasonable. Permanent Alimony And Maintenance The Court may at the passing of any decree or any time subsequent thereto, may on the application of the parties order the non-Applicant, to pay to the Applicant for the maintenance and support. The maintenance may be in a gross sum or on periodical or monthly basis. In no case, the maintenance shall be payable beyond the life of the non-Applicant. The income and property of the non-Applicant shall be considered while determining the permanent alimony Besides this the wife only has an alternate remedy in terms of maintenance under Section 125 under Criminal Procedure code to the extent of a maximum of Rs. 500 per month.

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Introduction Obligation of a husband to maintain his wife arises out of the status of the marriage. Right to maintenance forms a part of the personal law. Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), right of maintenance extends not only to the wife and dependent children, but also to indigent parents and divorced wives. Claim of the wife, etc., however, depends on the husband having sufficient means. Claim of maintenance for all dependent persons is limited to Rs 500 per month. Inclusion of the right of maintenance under the Code of Criminal Procedure has the great advantage of making the remedy both speedy and cheap. However, divorced wives who have received money payable under the customary personal law are not entitled to maintenance claims under the Code of Criminal Procedure. Under Hindu Law, the wife has an absolute right to claim maintenance from her husband. But she loses her right if she deviates from the path of chastity. Her right to maintenance is codified in the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (78 of 1956). In assessing the amount of maintenance, the court takes into account various factors like position and liabilities of the husband. It also judges whether the wife is justified in living apart from husband. justifiable reasons are spelt out in the Act. Maintenance pendente lite (pending the suit) and even expenses of a matrimonial suit will be borne by either, husband or wife, if the either spouse has no independent income for his or her support. The same principle will govern payment of permanent maintenance. Under the Muslim Law, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 protects rights of Muslim women who have been divorced by or have obtained divorce from their husbands and provides for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. This Act inter alia provides that a divorced Muslim woman shall be entitled to (a) reasonable and fair provision and maintenance to be made and paid to her within the iddat period by her former husband; (b) where she herself maintains children born to her before or after her divorce, a reasonable and fair provision and maintenance to be made and paid by her former husband for a period of two years from the respective dates of birth of such children; (c) an amount equal to the sum of mehr or dower agreed to be paid to her at the time of her marriage or at any time thereafter according to the Muslim Law and (d) all property given to her before or at the time of marriage or after her marriage by her relatives or friends or by husband or any relatives of the husband or his friends. In addition, the Act also provides that where a divorced Muslim woman is unable to maintain herself after the period of iddat the magistrate shall order directing such of her relatives as would be entitled to inherit her property on her death according to the Muslim Law, and to pay such reasonable and fair maintenance to her as he may determine fit and proper, having regard to the needs of the divorced woman, standard of life enjoyed by her during her marriage and means of such

Grounds for award of maintenance Only upon proving that at least one of the grounds mentioned under the Act. 1956. 1869 inter alia governs maintenance rights of a Christian wife. both alimony pendente lite and permanent maintenance. even if she is not seeking divorce or any other major matrimonial relief has been recognised in Hindu law alone. Maintenance under Hindu law: Maintenance is a right to get necessities which are reasonable from another. The husband has ceased to a Hindu by conversion to any other religion. e. under matrimonial laws if the husband is ready to cohabit with the wife. it has been held in various cases that maintenance includes not only food. recognises right of any dependent person including wife. The husband is suffering from virulent form of leprosy/venereal diseases or any other infectious disease. The husband keeps the concubine in the same house as the wife resides or he habitually resides with the concubine elsewhere. to pay such maintenance as determined by him. the right of a married woman to reside separately and claim maintenance. 1956. Maintenance without divorce The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act. These grounds are as follows: a.Maintenance. aged parents and widowed daughter or daughter in law to maintenance. A Hindu wife is entitled to reside separately from her husband without forfeiting her right of maintenance under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act. The provisions are the same as those under the Parsi law and the same considerations are applied in granting maintenance. The husband has any other wife living. she will not be entitled to relief if she has indulged in . In fixing the quantum as permanent maintenance. is right to livelihood when one is incapable of sustaining oneself. The order will remain in force as long as wife remains chaste and unmarried. Any other cause justifying her separate living. Right to maintenance is not a transferable right. the claim of wife is defeated. d. in order to realise her claim.relatives. 1995 functioning in the area in which the woman resides. exists in the favor of the wife. maintenance is granted. exists. b. one of the most ancient systems of law. Maintenance as main relief: for wife The relief of maintenance is considered an ancillary relief and is available only upon filing for the main relief like divorce. the magistrate may direct State Wakf Board established under Section 13 of the Wakf Act. 1936 recognizes the right of wife to maintenance-both alimony pendente lite and permanent alimony. restitution of conjugal rights or judicial separation etc. Further. and such maintenance shall be payable by such relatives in proportion to the size of their inheritance of her property and at such periods as he may specify in his order. but also the things necessary for the comfort and status in which the person entitled is reasonably expected to live. The Indian Divorce Act. the magistrate shall order parents of such divorced woman to pay maintenance to her. The maximum amount that can be decreed by court as alimony during the time a matrimonial suit is pending in court. However. is one-fifth of the husband's net income. generally. The husband has deserted her or has willfully neglected her. The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act. in other words. wife's own assets and conduct of the parties. Hindu law. The Act envisages certain situations in which it may become impossible for a wife to continue to reside and cohabit with the husband but she may not want to break the matrimonial tie for various reasons ranging from growing children to social stigma. c. children. the Hindu wife must prove that one of the situations (in legal parlance 'grounds') as stated in the Act. Bar to relief Even if one of these grounds exists in favour of the wife. clothes and residence. In the absence of such relatives or where such relatives are not in a position to maintain her. f. 1956. Where such divorced woman has children. the Magistrate shall order only such children to pay maintenance to her. The husband has treated her with cruelty. provides for this right. and in the event of any such children being unable to pay such maintenance. the court will determine what is just. bearing in mind the ability of husband to pay. The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act. g. Thus.

Similarly. An application of divorced wife under Section 3(2) can be disposed of under the provisions of Sections 125 to 128. simultaneously. 1869 which is only applicable to those persons who practice the Christianity religion inter alia governs maintenance rights of a Christian wife. as the court may order.c. the marriage must be a valid marriage. the religion of the parties does not matter at all. The Indian Divorce Act. Maintenance Under Christian Law A Christian woman can claim maintenance from her spouse through criminal proceeding or/and civil proceeding. The term parent here also includes an issueless stepmother. Under S. till her lifetime. she can claim it from relatives failing which. their husbands. There is no provision in the Act which nullifies orders passed under section 125. It is also important to note here that in order to be entitled for the relief.c. The Act also does not take away any vested right of the Muslim woman. Cr. from the Waqf Board. unlike in civil proceedings. 1956.36-s.adulterous relationship or has converted herself into any other religion thereby ceasing to be a Hindu.Rights On Divorce) Act. if the parties so desire. 1869 are produced herein covered under part IX -s. whether legitimate or illegitimate. The minor children of a Hindu. The provisions of THE INDIAN DIVORCE ACT. 1986" spells out objective of the Act as "the protection of the rights of Muslim women who have been divorced by. Maintenance Under Muslim Law Under the "Women (Protection Of. Section (a) of the said Act says that divorced woman is entitled to have a reasonable and fair provision and maintenance from her former husband. 1869. In criminal proceedings. or have obtained divorce from. the aged and infirm parents of a Hindu are entitled to claim maintenance from their children. and the husband must do so within the period of idda and his obligation is not confined to the period of idda.37 of the Indian Divorce Act. Cr. Protection to Divorced WomenSub-section (1) of Section 3 lays down that a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to: (a) a reasonable and fair provision and maintenance to be made and paid to her within the iddat period by her former husband. In other words. in particular cases the presumption of marriage is given more weightage and the bars to maintenance are removed. Accordingly a widowed daughter-in-law is entitled maintenance from her father-in-law to the extent of the share of her diseased husband in the said property. has been abrogated. if the marriage is illegal then the matrimonial relationship between the husband and wife is non-existent and therefore no right of maintenance accrues to wife.38 . (b) where she herself maintains the children born to her before or after the divorce." The Act makes provision for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. taken away or abridged. she can apply for alimony/ maintenance in a civil court or High Court and. It is apparent that the Act nowhere stipulates that any of the rights available to the Muslim women at the time of the enactment of the Act. as there is no legal bar to it. Other dependents who can claim maintenance Apart from the relationship of husband and wife other relations in which there is economic dependency are also considered to be entitled to maintenance by the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act. if not granted maintenance can approach the Wakf board for grant as under section (b)which states that If she fails to get maintenance from her husband. P. The provisions are the same as those under the Parsi law and the same considerations are applied in granting maintenance. it further provides that a woman . husband will be liable to pay her alimony such sum. P. All obligations of maintenance however end with her remarriage and no claims for maintenance can be entertained afterwards. both alimony pendente lite and permanent maintenance. The Act thus secures to a divorced Muslim woman sufficient means of livelihood so that she is not thrown on the street without a roof over her head and without any means of sustaining herself. are entitled to claim maintenance from their parents. thanks to judicial activism. The Act lays down under various sections that distinctively lay out the criterion for women to be granted maintenance. If a divorced Christian wife cannot support her in the post divorce period she need not worry as a remedy is in store for her in law. However. Interested parties may pursue both criminal and civil proceedings.

depends on the husband having sufficient means. unable to maintain himself or herself. to the ability of the husband. and shall continue. or to any trustee on her behalf to be approved by the Court.36. at such monthly rate not exceeding five hundred rupees in the whole. having regard to her fortune (if any). order such person to make a monthly allowance for the maintenance of his wife or such child. the Court may make an order on the husband for payment to the wife of such monthly or weekly sums for her maintenance and support as the Court may think reasonable: Provided that if the husband afterwards from any cause becomes unable to make such payments. or (c) his legitimate or illegitimate child (not being a married daughter) who has attained majority. however. but also to indigent parents and divorced wives. whether it be instituted by a husband or a wife. whether married or not. as previously mentioned S. Claim of the wife.. until the decree is made absolute or is confirmed. 38. or temporarily to suspend the same as to the whole or any part of the money so ordered to be paid. it shall be lawful for the Court to discharge or modify the order. on any decree absolute declaring a marriage to be dissolved. and to the conduct of the parties. it may direct the same to be paid either to the wife herself. and for that purpose may cause a proper instrument to be executed by all necessary parties. may make such order on the husband for payment to the wife of alimony pending the suit as it may deem just: Provided that alimony pending the suit shall in no case exceed one fifth of the husband's average net income for the three years next preceding the date of the order. it thinks reasonable. 37. to the satisfaction of the Court. -In every such case. Order that the husband shall. and to pay the same to such person as the Magistrate may from time to time direct: . Alimony pendente lite. as.125. -In any suit under this Act. or (d) his father or mother. unable to maintain herself. 1973 is always there in the secular realm Under the Code of Criminal Procedure. or such annual sum of money for any term not exceeding her own life. and whether or not she has obtained an order of protection the wife may present a petition for alimony pending the suit. where such child is by reason of any physical or mental abnormality or injury unable to maintain itself. and again to revive the same order wholly or in part as to the Court seems fit... etc. Power to order monthly or weekly payments. Children And Parents S.125 of Cr. or on any decree of judicial separation obtained by the wife. a Magistrate of the first class may. -In all cases in which the Court makes any decree or order for alimony. Inclusion of the right of maintenance under the Code of Criminal Procedure has the great advantage of making the remedy both speedy and cheap Order For Maintenance Of Wives. as such Magistrate thinks fit. if it appears to the Court expedient so to do. secure to the wife such gross sum of money. Court may direct payment of alimony to wife or to her trustee.Order for maintenance of wives. and the Court. Claim of maintenance for all dependent persons was limited to Rs 500 per month but now it has been increased and the magistrate can exercise his discretion in adjudging a reasonable amount. on the confirmation of any decree of his declaring a marriage to be dissolved. father or mother. Alternatively. or (b) his legitimate or illegitimate minor child. Such petition shall be served on the husband. or on any decree of judicial separation obtained by the wife.C. in case of a decree for dissolution of marriage or of nullity of marriage. children and parents. and the District judge may. as the case may be. on being satisfied of the truth of the statements therein contained. and may from time to time appoint a new trustee. right of maintenance extends not only to the wife and dependent children.(1) If any person having sufficient means neglects or refuses to maintain(a) his wife. if he thinks fit. upon proof of such neglect or refusal.IX-Alimony S. 1973 (2 of 1974). Power to order permanent alimony -The High Court may. and may impose any terms or restrictions which to the Court seem expedient. if it thinks fit. unable to maintain itself.P.

The basis of the relief. But he cannot be ousted of his jurisdiction. There is no conflict between the two provisions. children. under the provisions of the Indian Majority Act.wife can inform the court that the Husband is refusing to pay maintenance even after the order of the court. The criterion is not whether a person is actually having means. under the concerned section is the refusal or neglect to maintain his wife. or that they are living separately by mutual consent. the magistrate while fixing the amount of maintenance may take that into consideration while fixing the quantum of maintenance under the Code. The objective of this section as expressed by Krishna Iyer. The court can then sentence the Husband to imprisonment unless . if married. such Magistrate may consider any grounds of refusal stated by her.C. to imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or until payment if sooner made: Provided that no warrant shall be issued for the recovery of any amount due under this section unless application be made to the Court to levy such amount within a period of one year from the date on which it became due: Provided further that if such person offers to maintain his wife on condition of her living with him. her husband and has not remarried. But these criminal proceedings are of a civil nature. any such Magistrate may.P. 1875(9 of 1875) is deemed not to have attained his majority.Provided that the Magistrate may order the father of a minor female child referred to in clause (b) to make such allowance. but criminal proceedings of a summary nature. is ?to ameliorate the economic condition of neglected wives and discarded divorcees? Proceedings under S. Interested parties may pursue both criminal and civil proceedings. if the Magistrate is satisfied that the husband of such minor female child. The burden of proof is on him to show that he has no sufficient means to maintain and to provide maintenance.125 of Cr. issue a warrant for levying the amount due in the manner provided for levying fines.126 which empowers that Court to make such orders may be just. Explanation . It should be kept in view that the provision relating to maintenance under any personal law is distinct and separate. father or mother by a person who has sufficient means to maintain them. is not possessed of sufficient means. If the Husband refuses to pay maintenance .For the purposes of this Chapter. if he is satisfied that there is a just ground for so doing. she refuses to live with her husband. . if so ordered. J.125 are not civil. and she refuses to live with him. Explanation. (3) If any person so ordered fails without sufficient cause to comply with the order. and may make an order under this section notwithstanding such offer. or. (a) "minor" means a person who. (5) On proof that any wife in whose favour an order has been made under this section is living in adultery. In the criminal proceedings the religion of the parties doesn't matter at all unlike the civil proceedings. or that without sufficient reason she refuses to live with her husband. until she attains her majority. Thus. or has obtained a divorce from. but if he is capable of earning he will be considered to have sufficient means. simultaneously as there is no legal bar to it. without any sufficient reason. and may sentence such person. clause (3) of S. it shall be considered to be just ground for his wife's refusal to live with him. or if they are living separately by mutual consent. for every breach of the order.If a husband has contracted marriage with another woman or keeps a mistress. (b) "wife" includes a woman who has been divorced by. If a person has already obtained maintenance order under his or her personal law. Maintenance Under Parsi Law: Parsi can claim maintenance from the spouse through criminal proceedings or/ and civil proceedings.. from the date of the application for maintenance. (4) No wife shall be entitled to receive an allowance from her husband under this section if she is living in adultery. the Magistrate shall cancel the order. or if. (2) Such allowance shall be payable from the date of the order. A person may sue for maintenance under s. for the whole or any part of each month's allowance remaining unpaid after the execution of the warrant.

the conduct of the parties and other circumstances of the case.htm Hindu Law: Daughter is Entitled to Claim Maintenance from Her Father As per the provisions of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act. for a term not exceeding the life of the plaintiff as having regard to the defendant?s own income and other property. vary. A major unmarried daughter is entitled to claim maintenance from her father only in case she is not able to maintain herself from her own income or other property. bearing in mind the ability of husband to pay. an order has been made under this section has remarried or. Permanent alimony and maintenance (1) Any Court exercising jurisdiction under this Act may.he agrees to pay. that she has not remained chaste. can seek maintenance from the property of her father in two cases:   When there is joint family property. and any such payment may be secured. She is entitled to claim maintenance from the share of her father in the joint family property. it may seem to the Court to be just. until she becomes a major. it may. 1956. the Section 20. When the property is his self acquisition. In fixing the quantum as permanent maintenance. by a charge on the movable or immovable property of the defendant. 1936 recognizes the right of wife to maintenance-both alimony pendente lite and permanent alimony. (3) The Court if it is satisfied that the partly in whose favour. if any. The maximum amount that can be decreed by court as alimony during the time a matrimonial suit is pending in court. it may. The order will remain in force as long as wife remains chaste and unmarried. provides for a qualification for entitlement of maintenance. vary. that he had sexual intercourse with any woman outside wedlock. if such party is the husband. http://legalserviceindia. a daughter who is a major. if necessary. modify or rescind any such order in such manner as the Court may deem just.lawisgreek. is one-fifth of the husband's net income. if such party is the wife. at the time of passing any decree or at any time subsequent thereto. In case of an unmarried daughter. of the Act. or.40. The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act. However. (2) The Court if it is satisfied that there is change in the circumstances of either party at any time after it has made an order under sub-section (1). The personal legal obligation to provide maintenance is continued till she is unmarried. at the instance of the other party. A daughter is considered as a member of the joint family to which she is born until the event of her marriage. http://www. This is applicable irrespective of the fact whether she is a minor or an adult. the term ‘maintenance’ includes adequate provision for her marriage. on an application made to it for the purpose by either the wife or the husband. The Husband can be detained in the jail so long as he does not pay.com/hindu-law-daughters-right-to-claim-maintenance . the court will determine what is just. the income and other property of the plaintiff. at the instance of either party. wife's own assets and conduct of the parties. modify or rescind any such order in such manner as the Court may deem just. such gross sum or such monthly or periodical sum. In case the property is self acquired by the father. S.com/articles/hmcp. order that the defendant shall pay to the plaintiff for her or his maintenance and support. the daughter is entitled for maintenance from her father.

Unsound mind. if the husband fails to turn up within 30 days. Vimlaben Ajitbhai Patel v. Cruelty. the twist in this real life drama is that the property was not owned by the husband but by his mother. but he was prohibited from leaving India without seeking prior permission of the court. and the father-in-law had to frequently go to overseas for medical treatment.Hindu Law: Apex Court Restores Property to Mother-in-law. you may affix a schedule/exhibit with the divorce petition listing out all the stridhan/articles that you may want to claim from husband‟s family. The husband was granted bail by the Court. Suffering . the husband appealed against the decision of the lower court. (2008) 4 SCC 649. the complainant filed many cases against her husband and in-laws and got a maintenance order of Rs. the property owned by him will be sold at a public auction. Further. However. Conversion in religion. The wife claimed that under the section 18. she was entitled to claim maintenance from the inherited joint family property.50. The court also directed the daughter-in-law to refund back Rs. The husband did not appear within the given time period and the property was sold off. DIVORCE Hindu Law: Grounds for Divorce A petition for divorce may be presented by either the husband or wife for dissolving the marriage on the grounds mentioned under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955. The sale was revoked and the ownership of the property was restored back to the mother-in-law. On return. Desertion for two years. http://www. The court ruled in favor of the wife and declared her husband an offender and issued a public notice to the effect that. 000 as the costs of the legal proceedings.10.S. The husband had undergone severe monetary losses in the U. The husband applied for permission to go abroad. 2009 The Divorce petition being the main petition must be filed first with the family court which may or may not be accompanied by a petition for claim for permanent maintenance. of the Act.However. This implies that the petition for maintenance being an ancillary petition may be filed along with the divorce petition or separately. The Apex Court held that mother-in-law is not liable to maintain her daughter-in-law and it was illegal to sell her property without her consent for execution of the maintenance order. Vatsalaben Ashokbhai Patel. the court ordered for disposition of all earlier cases against the husband and his family and held the complainant liable to pay Rs.lawisgreek.1 lakh of the sale money that she had withdrawn. Note: Divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 can be obtained on the grounds of Adultery. Orders Daughter-in-law To Refund Rs 1 lakh and Pay for Costs of Proceedings In a landmark case. Maintenance and Stridhan in India by PARUL KHANNA on SEPTEMBER 20. but he had to leave before the permission could be granted due to his father’s medical condition turning worse. I.com/hindu-law-can-a-wife-claim-maintenance-from-the-mother-in-law Hindu Laws on Divorce. 000 per month.

restitution of conjugal rights or judicial separation etc. Note: Under matrimonial laws if the husband is ready to cohabit with the wife. no restitution of conjugal rights for one year after decree for restitution of conjugal rights. However. under Article 142. Hindu Law: Interim Maintenance & Maintenance Pendente Lite . A divorce by mutual consent can be jointly filed by the parties on the grounds that they have been living separately at least for a year. the court shall. husband guilty of rape. II. not heard for 7 years. both the parties are required to re-confirm their mutual consent after six months) and not later than 18 months after the said date. sodomy or bestiality and if after an order of maintenance is passed under the Hindu Maintenance and Adoptions Act or the Criminal Procedure Code there has been no cohabitation for one year Hindu Law: Divorce by Mutual Consent A petition for dissolution of marriage may be presented to the District Court by both spouses if they have been living separately for a period of one year or more. On the motion of both the parties made not earlier than six months after the date of the presentation of the petition (by law. if the petition is not withdrawn in the meantime. pursuant to a recent judgment by the Supreme Court of India. the claim of wife is defeated. that they have not been able to live together and that they have mutually agreed that the marriage should be dissolved. has renounced the world. The Supreme Court. no resumption of co-habitation for one year after the decree of judicial separation. MAINTENANCE Maintenance an ancillary relief: The relief of maintenance is considered an ancillary relief and is available only upon filing for the main relief like divorce. pass a decree of divorce declaring the marriage to be dissolved. However. can grant relief to the parties without even waiting for the statutory period of six months stipulated in Section 13 B of the Act. it is only the Supreme Court of India. Neither the civil courts nor even the High Courts can pass orders before the periods prescribed under the relevant provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act. generally. in exercise of its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution that can pass orders to do complete justice to the parties.from venereal disease and/or Leprosy. on being satisfied. Hindu marriage can be dissolved under the provision of mutual consent even if one of the parties withdraws approval of the dissolution before the statutory period of six months expires following the application for divorce. after hearing the parties and after making such inquiry as it thinks fit.

A Hindu wife is entitled to reside separately from her husband without forfeiting her right of maintenance under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act. divorce decree) or any time subsequent thereto. under matrimonial laws if the husband is ready to cohabit with the wife.18 (2) if she is unchaste or ceases to be a Hindu. Thus. However. has treated her with cruelty. Similarly. The maintenance may be in a gross sum or on periodical or monthly basis. either the wife or husband can apply for interim maintenance. in order . The Court may at the passing of any decree (e. The basis of the claim for interim maintenance is that the claimant has no independent income of his/her own to support himself/herself. the claim of wife is defeated. may on the application of the party order the non-Applicant/ respondent to pay to the Applicant for the maintenance and support.Under Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act. keeps a concubine.g. However.the husband is guilty of desertion. has been recognized in Hindu law alone. has ceased to be a Hindu. However the wife forfeits her claim under S. the right of a married woman to reside separately and claim maintenance. 1956. Maintenance without divorce Section 18(2) also entitles a Hindu wife to claim for maintenance even if she is living separately provided that she can justify her living separately under any of the following grounds:. When either the wife or the husband has no independent income for his or her support and for the necessary expenses of the proceedings. generally. an application can be made either by the husband or wife to the court and the court may order the respondent to pay the expenses of the proceeding and such sum as maintenance as the court seems reasonable. or any other just cause for living separately. Hindu Law: Permanent Maintenance A Hindu wife is entitled to be provided for by her husband throughout the duration of her lifetime. the maintenance shall be payable beyond the life of the non-Applicant. even if she is not seeking divorce. If the wife‟s income is sufficient to maintain herself and lives in the same comfort then she cannot claim for maintenance. is suffering from a dangerous form of leprosy. Further. In no case. The provision is silent on the quantum of maintenance and it is upon the discretion of the court to determine the quantum. maintenance pendente lite (while litigation is pending) is to be provided to the claimant who does not have an independent income and the financial need of litigation expenses has to be provided by the other spouse. 1955. has any other wife living. a Hindu wife can claim for maintenance only if she can prove that she is not able to maintain herself.

Factors relevant for modification: The maintenance provided can be modified. property. stridhan also includes all the gifts of money. b) The husband has treated her with cruelty. Section 23(2) of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act states the factors to be considered by the court in determining the amount of maintenance payable to the wife – the position of and status of the parties. in case of the husband. CLAIM FOR STRIDHAN „Stridhan‟ is a traditional concept in Indian Hindu Society which has been derived from two Sanskrit words „Stri‟ and „dhan‟ which means „Woman‟s property‟. e) The husband keeps the concubine in the same house as the wife resides or he habitually resides with the concubine elsewhere. Grounds for award of maintenance without divorce: Only upon proving that at least one of the grounds mentioned under the Act. there is a presumption that every able-bodied person has a capacity to earn and maintain his wife. which shall be considered i. the reasonable wants of the claimant. The income of the husband is a significant factor to be considered by the court in fixing the quantum of maintenance. c) The husband is suffering from virulent form of leprosy/venereal diseases or any other infectious disease. it is not only the actual earning. the claimant if living separately is justified or not.e. d) The husband has any other wife living.to realize her claim. Quantum of Maintenance: In assessing the amount of maintenance. stridhan is passed from mother to daughter. but also his potential earning capacity. exists in the favor of the wife. the income of the claimant and the value of the claimant‟s property and the number of persons entitled to maintenance under the Act. if the claimant has remarried or is proved unchaste or there is resumption of cohabitation after judicial separation. Besides the ornaments and trousseau given at marriage. exists. the Hindu wife must prove that one of the situations as stated in the Act. . III. In fact. f) The husband has ceased to a Hindu by conversion to any other religion.e. These grounds are as follows: a) The husband has deserted her or has willfully neglected her. g) Any other cause justifying her separate living. The income and property of the non-Applicant may be considered while determining the permanent alimony. suspended or cancelled if the change in circumstances so demand i. the court takes into account various factors like position and liabilities of the husband. unless the woman decides otherwise. Usually. maintenance is granted.

and property bought using proceeds from stridhan.statements of witnesses will be important evidence . It is. the husband can utilize it but he is morally bound to restore it or its value when he is able to do so. the husband has no right or interest in it with the sole exception that in times of extreme distress. property received by her under a compromise. such being the nature and character of stridhan of a woman. Also. her husband‟s family. friends and other acquaintances. manifest that the position of stridhan of a Hindu married woman‟s property during coverture is absolutely clear and unambiguous. . Protection of Stridhan A woman‟s right to her stridhan is protected under law. during and after marriage from her family. In the case of Pratibha Rani v. The Supreme Court of India held that “a Hindu married woman is the absolute owner of her stridhan property and can deal with it in any manner she likes and. 1956 read with Section 27 of the Hindu Marriage Act. she is the absolute owner of such property and can deal with it in any manner she likes-she may spend the whole of it or give it away at her own pleasure by gift or will without any reference to her husband.  Keep evidence for the gifts received by you such as wedding pictures. If her husband or any other member of his family who are in possession of such property. Precautions: Women who wish to protect their stridhan rights must take precautionary steps. even if it is placed in the custody of her husband or her in-laws they would be deemed to be trustees and bound to return the same if and when demanded by her”.  Make a list of the gifts and/or properties received before. therefore. Suraj Kumar. Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act. adverse possession or in lieu of maintenance.for gifts of movables (including jewellery) at the time of marriage. It includes property inherited by the woman from her family or husband‟s family. This right is purely personal to the husband and the property so received by him in marriage cannot be proceeded against even in execution of a decree for debt. illness or the like.  Have witnesses . gifts to the husband by the woman or her relatives will not be part of her stridhan. Ordinarily. 1985 (2) SCC 370 the Supreme Court of India explained the concept of „Stridhan‟ and its legal position under the Indian Laws. dishonestly misappropriate or refuse to return the same. ensure that the gifts and their bills are in your name and preserve these bills. your husband’s family. friends and even strangers. However. they may be liable to punishment for the offence of criminal breach of trust under sections 405 and 406 IPC. during and after marriage from your family.jewellery and so on received by the woman before. property obtained in partition. 1955 make a female Hindu an absolute owner of such property. as in famine.

1985 (2) SCC 370 http://www. [2003 (3) G. 2009 case Source: Pratibha Rani v. 2027]. Reema Aggarwal v.thehindubusinessline. namely.R. Raginiben Gunvantsinh Tank v. Suraj Kumar. Gunvantlal Keshavlal Tank And Ors.htm This decision of the Supreme Court of India has been followed by various High Courts of India in the subsequent years.com/life/2009/05/08/stories/2009050850070300.in/2009/09/hindu-laws-on-divorce-maintenance-and-stridhan-in-india-2/ .L.Anil Kumar Jain vs Maya Jain. Anupam [2004 Cri LJ 892] and many others http://jurisonline.

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