MAINTENANCE UNDER HINDU LAW
BY NUPUR GARG
Maintenance is covered under section 24 of the Act of 1955 which provides relief and relaxation in terms of money and litigation expenses to the spouse who is parted from the marriage and unable to maintain his living during the tenure of proceedings. It has also been provided that the sum of money and the expenses of the proceeding should be disposed of within sixty days as under the followings of the issued notice on the wife or husband. Maintenance is granted to the spouse as a financial assistance to its litigating parties by order of court if any application has been filed and she does not have any source of income.
Under Hindu Law, the maintenance for wife deals with the specific and relevant provisions of Modern Hindu Law. The area of drawback of the case has been found during the procedure of the investigation of the administrative arrangements and the assessment of the legal professions. Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 contained provisions which therein are required to discuss or to know the legislation position of wife under these Acts. The relevant provisions which are there: Section 24, and Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and Section 18 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 which contain the prescribed law. Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, manages the divorce settlement during the pendent light and the costs of the procedures.
SECTION 18 – MAINTENANCE OF WIFE
This provision is especially created to provide a support to the married women. It doesn’t matter that the Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act because every wife will get maintenance by their husband during their life tenure.
Section 18(1) is applicable to the wife who is living with her husband. The wife who has ceased to be Hindu cannot claim for the maintenance but an unchaste wife who has been living with her husband under the same roof has the authority to claim for the maintenance by the court.
(2) A Hindu spouse or wife shall be entitled to live their life independently from her better half without relinquishing her to forfeit the maintenance.
If he is liable of abandonment or of stubbornly dismissing her.
If he has regarded her with so much cold-bloodedness as to cause a sensible apprehension in her mind that it will be destructive or harmful to live with her husband.
If he is experiencing a harmful type of infection or leprosy.
If he has some other spouse living and can be known as extra marital affairs.
If he keeps a mistress in a similar house wherein his better half is living or routinely lives with a concubine somewhere else.
If he has stopped to be a Hindu by transformation to another religion.
If there is some other reason legitimizing living independently.
(3) (Forfeiture of the claim for the maintenance or support). A Hindu spouse will not be qualified for discrete living arrangements and support in the form of maintenance from her husband on the off chance that she is unchaste or stops to be a Hindu by transformation to another religion.
AMOUNT OF MAINTENANCE TO THE WIFE
Under section 23, the power to decide whether any or not the compensation should be given to the wife as maintenance to be awarded under this Act lies on the discretion of the court. The court will consider the following:
The status and position of both parties.
The wants that are claimed by the claimant are reasonable.
If the claimant is separated than it is justified to do or not.
Number of persons who have right to claim maintenance.
Section 25 states that the amount of maintenance which has to be given whether decided by the court decree or by the agreement will be changed only if there is materialistic change in the circumstances. But under Section 24, the spouse cannot claim for the maintenance if they ceased to be Hindu by conversing their religion to another. In the case of Kanchan v. Kamalendra where the husband claimed for the maintenance under section 24 of this Act. However, to claim for the maintenance the husband has to prove something strong like any illness or disability to earn for his livelihood. As the wife in this case was the employee earning Rs. 2000 in which she needs to run her household expenses and to maintain her child.
The court further added that mere closure of the business will not be taken as a valid or strong point for claiming the support from wife. In these matters the court will not solely rely on the facts for the approval of maintenance as the husband was capable enough to promote idleness. This will be opposed to the idea of section 24 of this Act. The trial court after considering all the facts came to the decision without any justification for providing maintenance in favor of the non-applicant husband who claimed for maintenance.