Sunday, December 10, 2023

Allahabad High Court says it is the duty of earning spouse to protect life, liberty and dignity of the other till marriage survives

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The Allahabad High Court while disposing an appeal said that so long as a marriage survives, it remains the duty of the earning spouse to protect life, liberty and dignity of the other.

The Division Bench of Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh and Justice Rajendra Kumar-IV passed this order while hearing an appeal filed by Santosh Kumar.

The appeal has been preferred by the appellant against the order dated 09.2.2023 passed by the Principal Judge Family Court, Jhansi. By that order passed under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 the court below has provided for interim maintenance to the respondent @ 7,000/- per month from the date of her filing that application i.e 08.11.2021; one time legal expense Rs 5000/- and Rs 400/- per day towards personal expense.

The Court observed that,

Having heard counsel for the appellant and having perused the record,

It does appear that the appellant had filed documentary proof of his salary payment being not in excess of Rs 16,500/- that too in the year 2023.

Earlier, that payment was about Rs 15,470/-. Further, considering that there are no children born from the marriage, it does appear that the court below has erred in awarding nearly 50% of the total monthly income of the appellant, towards interim maintenance.

Seen in that light, the Court is of the view that the amount Rs 5000/- per month towards interim maintenance to the opposite party from the date of her filing of application would be sufficient to protect the interest of justice. At the same time, the Court found no ground to interfere with the award of one time legal expense and daily personal expense.

In view of the above, the Court disposed of the appeal with the following directions:-

(i) The amount of interim maintenance @ 7000/- per month awarded by the order impugned in the appeal is modified to Rs 5000/- per month. The remaining amount of one time legal expense Rs 5000/- and daily expense Rs 400/- per day are maintained.

(ii)The appellant shall continue to pay the monthly maintenance amount for the month September 2023 onwards. For that, the amount of interim maintenance for September 2023 may be paid on or before 30 September 2023. The monthly interim maintenance from October, 2023 onwards may be paid as and when it becomes due.

(iii) The appellant may also deposit an amount of one time legal expense Rs 5000/- by 15 October 2023.

(iv) For the arrears 1,10,000/-, the appellant may deposit the same in three installments such that Rs 30,000/- shall be deposited by the appellant with the court below by 31 October 2023. Rs 40,000/- each shall be deposited by the appellant by 30 November 2023 and 31 January 2024. The amount so deposited shall be released in favour of the opposite party forthwith.

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