Deserted wives, dependents from the appliance date: Supreme Court docket

The Apex court sets guidelines for marriage cases.

The Supreme Court ruled on November 4th that abandoned wives and children are entitled to alimony from their husbands from the date they petition a court.

In a major ruling by a bench of judges, Indu Malhotra and R. Subhash Reddy, the Supreme Court said wives abandoned by husbands were left in distress, often distressed because they had no means to support themselves and theirs To feed children.

The 67-page judgment of Justice Malhotra set uniform and comprehensive guidelines for family courts, judges and lower courts to follow when hearing the claims of women seeking maintenance from their estranged husbands.

The court said despite a multitude of maintenance laws, women were left empty-handed for years and struggled to make ends meet after a bad marriage.

Deprived of food

“The view that maintenance should be granted from the date of application is based on the rationale that the main objective of maintenance laws is to protect an abandoned woman and dependent children from poverty and vagabonds. If maintenance is not paid for as of the date of the application, the party requesting the maintenance will be deprived of maintenance as the application often takes several years to dispose of, ”wrote Justice Malhotra.

Maintenance cases usually have to be resolved within 60 days, but in reality this takes years due to legal loopholes.

To ensure that court maintenance orders are properly enforced by the husbands, the court said that failure to do so would result in penalties such as civil imprisonment and even attachment of the latter’s property. “The order or decree of maintenance can be enforced like a decree of a civil court by the provisions available for enforcement of a monetary decree,” wrote Judge Malhotra.

“The husband’s request that ipso facto have no source of income does not release him from his moral duty to maintain his wife if he is productive and has an educational qualification,” the court said.

Both the applicant wife and the interviewed husband must disclose their assets and liabilities in a maintenance case. Any previous case filed or pending under any other law should also be disclosed in court.

Education costs

The expenses of the children, including their education, basic needs and other professional activities, should be taken into account in the calculation of maintenance by the courts. “The children’s education costs usually have to be borne by the father. If the woman works and earns enough, the expenses can be divided proportionally between the parties, ”stated Justice Malhotra. Other factors such as “rising inflation rates and the high cost of living” should be taken into account, but the woman should receive alimony that corresponds to the standard of living she was used to in the marriage.

Permanent maintenance

The court found that it would not be fair to order a husband to pay his wife child support for the rest of her life, since marriages in today’s society do not last for a reasonable period of time. Either way, the court said the length of a marriage should be considered in determining permanent subsistence.

The judgment was based on a marital plea brought by Maharashtra on the issue of a man’s maintenance payment to his wife and son under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The case had dragged on for years.

“Section 125 of the CrPC was designed to alleviate the agony, anxiety and financial suffering of a woman who had left her marital home, so that appropriate arrangements could be made to support herself and the children,” noted Justice Malhotra .

The judgment reiterated that Section 125 of the CrPC would include couples who have lived together for years in its scope.

“Rigorous proof of marriage should not be a requirement for receiving alimony under Section 125 of the CrPC,” the court said.

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