Case Title: Dwarka Prasad Patel v. Smt. Marri (S.A. 466/2007)
A single bench judge of comprising Justice G.S. Ahluwalia while upholding the ownership of property by a woman in lieu of maintenance pursuant to Section 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act held that there is no law that if a wife is getting maintenance under one provision of law, then she cannot get the maintenance amount at all under another provision of law.
According to the case, the appellant and the respondent/Plaintiff are the wife and husband. After few years of marriage, the appellant husband turned the respondent wife and their daughter out of his house and started living with another woman. A social meeting was convened and it was decided that the Appellant would give the Respondent the possession of the suit property in lieu of maintenance. The document executed also stated that that after her death, her successor would inherit the property.
Thereafter, the appellant and his second wife, trespassed on the house which was given by him to the respondent-wife and took away the documents and possession of the said property. The Respondent wife, aggrieved by the same, the instituted a civil suit against the Appellant husband seeking declaration of title and permanent injunction.
Holding the ground that the executed agreement was not registered, the said suit was dismissed by the trial court against which the respondent-wife preferred an appeal before the lower appellate court and the said suit came to be allowed. Aggrieved by the reversal of decision of the trial court, the Appellant-husband preferred an appeal against the same before the High Court.
The appellant submitted that the agreement between the parties was unregistered and cannot be considered a collateral purpose and the suit was barred by time. He further submitted that the respondent-wife has also filed an application seeking maintenance under 125 of CRPC wherein she made no mention of the suit property. Hence, decision of the lower appellate court was liable to be set aside.
After considering the arguments of the parties and submissions on record, the court observed that pursuant to the provisions under Section 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act, the Respondent-wife was the rightful owner of the suit property.
With regards to the submission of the appellant that the respondent receiving monthly maintenance amount from the Appellant in addition to the possession of the suit property, the Court observed that no provision of law which bars a woman to seek compensation under two different statutes.
“The Supreme Court in the case of Rajnesh Vs. Neha and another reported in (2021) 2 SCC 324 has held that if a wife is getting maintenance under one provision of law, then while ascertaining the quantum of maintenance under another provision, the Court shall take into the consideration the maintenance amount which the wife is getting in previously instituted proceeding. There is no law that if a wife is getting maintenance under one provision of law, then she cannot get the maintenance amount at all under another provision of law.”
After making the above observations, the Court dismissed the appeal of the appellant-husband.
Story Update By: Ms. Sai Sushmitha, Correspondent at Lawgic.
Edited By: Ms. Nandini Nair, Content-Head at Lawgic.