Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act has provision for 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 to the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding, and monthly during 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.
Sample Format of Affidavit to be filed with Petition for Maintenance under Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act is given below:
IN THE COURT OF THE _____________ JUDGE AT _________
CMA NO. __________ OF 20__
DIVORCE ORIGINAL PETITION NO _______ OF 20__
IN THE MATTER OF:
MRS. _________ PETITIONER
MR. __________ RESPONDENT
I, Ms. _______________ Wife of _______________ Daughter of ___________ aged _________ years, presently residing at _________________________, do solemnly affirm and say as follows:
1. That I am the Petitioner in the accompanying Petition under Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and well acquainted with the facts of the case. I am competent to sear to this affidavit.
2. That I have gone through the contents of the accompanying Petition, I reaffirm the contents of the Petition, which are not being repeated here, for the sake of brevity.
3. That, I was married to the respondent at ____________, on _________, as per Hindu rites and ceremonies.
4. That the deponent herein was forced to leave her matrimonial home on ______ owing to the cruelty perpetrated by the respondent and his family members. Since the aforesaid date, the deponent has been living with her aged and father who is not in a position to support the deponent.
5. The deponent has no independent source of income and is completely dependent upon the respondent for her maintenance.
6. That the respondent has various sources of income and is possessed of movable and immovable assets mentioned below:
(i) The respondent is employed in a Income tax Department, getting an annual remuneration of more than Rs. 9.6 Lakh in addition to other monthly and annual allowances.
(ii) The respondent owns his own 3 BHK House bearing No _________
(iii) The respondent is having various bank accounts having huge deposits therein.
7. It is submitted that the respondent has no other liability as all his family members have their own independent sources of income and none of them is dependent on the respondent for anything.
8. It is submitted that the respondent has intentionally and deliberately refused and neglected to maintain and support the deponent who has a legal right to be maintained by him.
9. In view of the aforementioned circumstances, it is in the interest of justice, equity and conscience that this Hon'ble Court may be pleased to direct the respondent to pay a sum of Rs per month to the deponent as her maintenance pendente lite and a sum of Rs _________ towards the cost of litigation.
I, the above named deponent do hereby verify on oath that the contents of the affidavit above are true to my personal knowledge and nothing material has been concealed or falsely stated therein.
Signed and verified this _______ day of _______ 20 _______ at _______
Solemnly affirmed and signed before me by the deponent, who is personally known to me, on this the _____ day of ________ ,20__.
COUNSEL FOR THE DEPONENT
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 to the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding, and monthly during 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:
Provided that the application for the payment of the expenses of the proceeding and such monthly sum during the proceeding, shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within sixty days from the date of service of notice on the wife or the husband, as the case may be.
(i) As far as maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings are concerned, no distinction has been made under section 24 of the Act relating to right of a wife for maintenance preferred under section 12 or 13 of the Act.
(ii) The divorce proceeding has terminated adversely to his client but an appeal is pending. Whether the appeal ends in divorce or not, the wife's claim for maintenance qua wife under the definition contained in the explanation (b) to section 125 of the code continues unless parties make adjustments and come to terms regarding the quantum or the right to maintenance. It is clear that mere divorce does not end the right to maintenance.
(i) During the pendency of the divorce proceedings at any point of time if the wife establishes that she has no sufficient independent income for her support, it is open to her to claim maintenance pendente lite.
(ii) Section 24 entitles not only the wife but also the husband to claim maintenance pendente lite on showing that he has no independent source of income. However, the husband will have to satisfy the court that either due to physical or mental disability he is handicapped to earn and support his livelihood. Held that since the husband was able-bodied and was not mentally ill and only because his business had closed down, he could not be granted any maintenance, it being opposed to spirit of section 24 of the Act.
(i) Pending an application either under Rule 5 of Order 9 or Rule 9 of Order 9 or Rule 13 of Order 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure a spouse is entitled to maintain an application under section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The expression proceedings under the Act appearing in section 24 cannot be given a narrow and restrictive meaning.
(ii) Section 125(1)(d) has imposed a liability on both the son and the daughter to maintain their father or mother who is unable to maintain himself or herself.
(iii) The direction by the Civil Court is not a final determination under the
Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act but an order pendente lite under section 24
of the Hindu Marriage Act to pay the expenses of the proceeding, and monthly
during the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioners own income
and the income of the respondent, it may seem to the Court to be reasonable.
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