Justice Dhingra Explains Section 24 Of The HMA – 2008

Justice Dhingra explains Section 24 of the HMA in a judgment. Section 24/HMA reads as follows:

24. Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings.- Where in any proceeding under this Act it appears to the Court that either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding, it may, on the application of the wife or the husband, order the respondent to pay the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioner’s own income and the income of the respondent, it may seem to the Court to be reasonable””

Here is the excerpt:

5. From the perusal of Section 24, it is abundantly clear that the object and intent of this Section is to enable the husband or the wife, as the case may be, who has no independent source of income for his or her support and necessary expense of proceedings under the Act to obtain maintenance expenses pendent lite so that the proceedings may be continued without any hardships on his or her part. The benefits granted under this Section are only temporary in nature and there are other provisions of law where a wife, who is not able to maintain herself, can claim maintenance/permanent alimony from the husband e.g. Section 25 of HMA or under provisions of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act. The provisions of this Section are not meant for equivalising the income of wife with that of husband but are meant to see that where divorce or other proceedings are filed, either of the party should not suffer because of paucity of source of income and the Court should pass an order even during the pendency of such a petition, for maintenance and litigation expenses. Where a wife has no income or is without any support for maintaining herself, the Court has to pass an order considering the income and living status of the husband. However, where the wife and her husband both are earning and both are having good salary, merely because there is some salary difference, an order is not required to be passed under Section 24 of HMA.

Here is this all important judgment: Justice Dhingra Explains Section 24 Of The HMA

IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Date of Reserve: August 18, 2008
Date of Order: September 18,2008
CM(M) 949/2008
18.09.2008
Manish Kumar …Petitioner
Through: Mr. Rakesh Tiku with Mr. Abhinav Bajaj, Advocate
Versus
Mrs. Pratibha…Respondent
Through: Mr. Sanjeev Sindhwani and Ms. Ekta Kalra, Advocates
JUSTICE SHIV NARAYAN DHINGRA


1. Whether reporters of local papers may be allowed to see the judgment?Yes.
2. To be referred to the reporter or not? Yes.
3. Whether judgment should be reported in Digest? Yes.
JUDGMENT:
1. By this petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner has assailed an order 25th July 2008 passed by learned trial court whereby the learned ADJ awarded a maintenance of Rs.7,500/- per month to the respondent wife under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA).
2. There is no dispute about the fact that both husband and wife were gainfully employed. Wife claimed that her monthly salary was Rs.28,500 whereas her husband was having monthly salary of Rs.90,000/- per month. She claimed a maintenance of Rs.30,000/- per month.
3. Both husband and wife were working in private companies and their salary statements and other record was placed before the trial court. The trial court found that the take-home salary of wife was Rs.41,900/- and that of the husband was Rs.75,761/- per month respectively. Finding that the salary of the husband was more than the salary of the wife, the trial court granted maintenance of Rs.7,500/- to the wife.
4. I consider that while awarding maintenance to the wife, the trial court has lost sight of the basic ingredients of Section 24. Section 24 of HMA reads as follows:
“24. Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings.- Where in any proceeding under this Act it appears to the Court that either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding, it may, on the application of the wife or the husband, order the respondent to pay the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioner’s own income and the income of the respondent, it may seem to the Court to be reasonable”
5. From the perusal of Section 24, it is abundantly clear that the object and intent of this Section is to enable the husband or the wife, as the case may be, who has no independent source of income for his or her support and necessary expense of proceedings under the
Act to obtain maintenance expenses pendent lite so that the proceedings may be continued without any hardships on his or her part. The benefits granted under this Section are only temporary in nature and there are other provisions of law where a wife, who is not able to maintain herself, can claim maintenance/permanent alimony from the husband e.g. Section 25 of HMA or under provisions of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act. The provisions of this Section are not meant for equivalising the income of wife with that of husband but are meant to see that where divorce or other proceedings are filed, either of the party should not suffer because of paucity of source of income and the Court should pass an order even during the pendency of such a petition, for maintenance and litigation expenses. Where a wife has no income or is without any support for maintaining herself, the Court has to pass an order considering the income and living status of the husband. However, where the wife and her husband both are earning and both are having good salary, merely because there is some salary difference, an order is not required to be passed under Section 24 of HMA.
6. In the instant case, it is nowhere pleaded by the wife in her application under Section 24 that the income being earned by her was not sufficient for her maintenance. Her contention in the application was that the petitioner was liable to bring her to the same status and station as if she was living with him in the matrimonial home. In my view, this is not the intent and purpose of Section 24. The purpose and intent of 24 is quite different as stated above.
7. The salary slips of the wife has been placed on record which show that she was having salary in the range of around Rs.50,000/- per month. Her statement of salary account from February 2007 to January 2008 shows that she had a take-home salary during this year of Rs.6,80,188/-. The average monthly salary was thus Rs.56,682/-. This salary was after deduction of tax, employees provident fund, PF contribution etc. Her gross salary inclusive of tax, provident fund etc was around Rs.80,000/- per month. A person who is earning this much of salary can very well maintain herself with such a standard which may be envy of many and under no stretch of imagination it can be said that the income earned by her was not enough to maintain her. There was no other liability on her. There is no offspring from this wedlock.
8. In view of my foregoing discussion, I consider that the trial court has wrongly allowed maintenance to the respondent wife. The petition is allowed and the impugned order dated 25th July 2008, granting maintenance of Rs.7500/- per month to the wife, is hereby set aside. However, the petitioner would be liable to pay the litigation expenses, as ordered by the trial court. No order as to costs.
September 18, 2008
SHIV NARAYAN DHINGRA J.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

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14 Responses to “Justice Dhingra Explains Section 24 Of The HMA – 2008”


  1. 1 shiv March 24, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Hi can anyone provide a citation for this judgement, I have tried looking into the AIR based on names but couldn’t find it there. I need this urgently, pls help

  2. 3 shiv May 4, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Pls guys in which Law journal has this been published, my lawyer says we need to give the reference of some book to the judge.

  3. 4 dr.kamlesh agarwal May 3, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    if wife leaves husband with 12 days of marriage….after 1 year of desertion…hausband has applied for divorce….will husband has to pay maintenance?

  4. 8 Prabc August 7, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Hi kamlesh
    I have petetion for this my wife and father too ran after 10 days taking 1lac 50 thousand cash and old gold worth Rs 6 lacs did you got any answer for it i have filed permanent alimony for 2.5 lacs in court stating the stay period as 10 days (2.5 lacs is on paper )

  5. 9 chandan March 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    IN family court, section 9 & 125 filed by wife pending for last 4yesrs/section 9 filed by husband in another court now withdrwan and paid 1 Lac under section 24 and withdrwan due wife also had filed similar case in other court.When hausband filed divorce under section 13,after missing 2 proceeedings,she files for maintance under section 24,is that valid,when she has once got money under section 24 in another court. Also why court not finalising section 9 and 125,when wife cannot prove it,she is equaly qualified as husband 1 postgraduat and claims not earlings,she earns more than husband by provated tutions,no proof for husband tp prove in court in writing.
    What happens now..poor husband suffers due to negligence of JUDGE/court who doesnot wish for quick JUSTICE ?

  6. 10 santanu sinha September 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    LAWS NOW NEED A CHANGE BADLY AS THE LAWS ARE BEING MILKED BY WOMEN TOO MUCH.THIS WUD PROMOTE EXTRA MARITAL AFFAIRS OF WOMEN

  7. 11 Shankar Gupta December 9, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Girls and women have been unnecessarily been given unwanted liberty under the shadow of feminine laws and sorry to say cruel and bad laws and they are taking benefits of it by blackmailing their poor husbands by asking for hefty alimony or maintenance. It should be checked and those culprit wives who files false dowry cases/498A should be sent to jail with their co-culprit parents who have lure to make money in an easy ways, without any second thought. Such bloody girls have made it a business to ask for hefty alimony. It should please be brought to the notice of Rajya sabha and lok sabha meetings and women cells/councils. those women should be discarded from society who make money thru this kind of harrasment and mental agony by filing false and frivolous cases. The need of the hour is all those harrassed husbands should come forward and start morch against this bad and cruel law and should be abolished from society. instead of saving family life It has destroyed many families.

    Thanks,

  8. 12 Anurag Kulshrestha April 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Why to put so much burden on male only even female can maintain her self as she is nurtured equally and quilified well in today society. Everything should be gender neutral. Only criminal(he/she)should be in trouble by judicial system. Thanks to good judges who gives loyal judgement.

  9. 13 N.K.SHARMA February 8, 2013 at 8:20 am

    under sec 22 and 24 wife got maintenance of Rs.3000/pm.since 3 yrs passed and she did not get any money from her husband .can this be made permanent maintenace without filing any case under sec-25 or 125 of HMA

  10. 14 Alok Ghosh April 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    What if both (husband and wife) are not earning? Husband file sec 9. After 1.5 years he converted into sec 13. After converting wife claim maintenance u/s 24. At this stage what husband should do?
    1. Should husband withdraw sec 13? Is it possible or not?
    2. Can husband also claim maintenance u/s 24?


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Some Interesting Stats On Arrests Of Women

In 1930, the British govt arrested 17,000 women for their involvement in the Dandi Yatra (Salt March). During 1937 to 1947 (10 Years), they arrested 5,000 women involved in the freedom struggle. From 2004 to 2006, the govt of India arrested 90,000 women of all ages under 498A. On the average, 27,000 women per year are being arrested under this flawed law. These are stats from the NCRB.

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The family of the writer was tortured by the Indian Police in an attempt to extort over a $100,000 by holding them in custody for over a week. The police, in cahoots with the magistrate and the PP, did this due to the ridiculous allegations made in a 498A case by his embittered ex-wife. She filed the case years after he and his family had last seen her. Thousands of 498A cases are filed each year in India by women seeking to wreak vengeance on their husbands and in-laws. Enormous sums are extorted from intimidated families implicated in these cases by corrupt Indian police officers and elements of the Indian judiciary. The author and his family haven't bribed any public official nor have they given in to the extortion. This blog aims to raise awareness of due process in India. The content of this blog constitutes, opinions, observations, and publicly available documents. The intent is not to slander or defame anyone or any institution and is the manifestation of the author's right to freedom of expression – with all the protections this right guarantees.

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