Case Detail: Writ Petition No. 21852 of 2022
Justice M Nagaprasanna of Karnataka High Court while allowing the petition of wife seeking maintenance from her husband, issued direction to the lower court to follow a timeline for disposal of maintenance applications under section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act
“Proviso to Section 24 directs that an application filed under Section 24 seeking maintenance should be disposed as far as possible within 60 days. The term “as far as possible” is being interpreted that the Court can pass orders even after six months in some cases, two years, three years or even four years after filing the application. This delay in considering those applications for maintenance would defeat the very soul of the provision which is to give succor to the wife who leaves or made to leave the matrimonial house on myriad circumstances. Merely, because the provision directs disposal of the application, as far as possible within 60 days, it cannot be stretched to an extent by the Courts to an extent that the wife would not see the amount of maintenance for ages”.
The Concerned court shall adhere to the following timeline.
a. Notice on the application be issued immediately. Service through E-mail / Whatsapp shall also be valid service.
b. The concerned Court shall grant two months to the husband to file his objections to the application.
c. The wife also should be given the same two months to file statement of assets and liabilities.
d. On the assets and liabilities so filed by the wife, the concerned Court shall consider the contentions other parties, hear them and pass appropriate orders, within four months.
e. The outer limit to decide any application seeking interim maintenance is six months from the date of its filing.
f. To achieve this timeline, the concerned Court should refrain itself from granting unnecessary adjournments to both the parties.
g. If the husband or the wife would not co-operate with the closure of the proceedings qua the application for interim maintenance the Court would be free to pass appropriate orders.
h. Any delay beyond six months should be only on reasons recorded in writing in the order that would be passed.
Story Update By: Ms. Sravani Gona, Correspondent at Lawgic.
Edited By: Ms. Nandini Nair, Content Head at Lawgic.