Ved legal is Associated with expertise Lawyers in Divorce and Matrimonial Cases in and around Pune, and have vast experience in the Family related issues which arises after marriage, Ved legal gives the proper consultation with the concrete solution to their clients, so that they can settle their dispute amicably. Below is the brief description of the Maintenance of Wife under Hindu Adoptions & Maintenance Act, 1956.
Maintenance of Wife under Hindu Adoptions & Maintenance Act, 1956:-
Maintenance, is the support to live life having provision for food, clothing, residence, education, medical attendance and treatment and shelter which, when denies, are required immediately to be granted and cannot await the duration of a long trial. It is relevant to notice, in that behalf, that the provisions of section 18 (1) give absolute entitlement to Hindu wife to be maintained by her husband during her life time.
Maintenance of wife:-
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be maintained by her husband during her life time.
(2) A Hindu wife shall be entitled to live separately from her husband without forfeiting her claim to maintenance-
(a) if he is guilty of desertion, that is to say, of abandoning her without reasonable cause and without her consent or against her wish, or willfully neglecting her.
(b) if has treated her with such cruelty as to cause a reasonable apprehension in her mind that it will be harmful or injuries to live with her husband.
(c) if he is suffering from a virulent form of leprosy.
(d) if he has any other wife living.
(e) if he keeps a concubine in the same house in which his wife is living or habitually resides with a concubine elsewhere.
(f) if he has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion.
(g) if there is any other cause justifying living separately.
(3) A Hindu wife shall not be entitled to separate residence and maintenance from her husband if she is unchaste or ceases to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion.
The right to claim interim maintenance in a suit is a substantive right under section 18 of the Act. Since no form is prescribed to enforce the said right civil court in exercise of its inherent power can grant interim maintenance; Purusottam Mahakud v. Smt. Annapurna Mahakud , AIR 1997 Ori 73.
Maintenance pendente lite
After considering the status of the husband the wife should be awarded maintenance pendente lite, even though there is no separate provision in the Act for grant of maintenance pendente lite. The obligation to maintain the wife remains on the husband even though the wife might be living separately. The suit under section 18 of the Act may take decades to decide, the wife in the first instance be forced to face starvation and then subsequently is granted maintenance from the date of filing of suit. Such a view will be against the very intent and spirit of section 18 of the Act. It is settled law that a court empowered to grant a substantive relief is competent to award it on interim basis as well, even though there is no express provision in the statute to grant it; Neelam Malhotra v. Rajinder Malhotra, AIR 1994 Del 234.
Maintenance to wife/widow
Widow has no charge on separate property of husband. Neither section 18 relating to maintenance of wife nor section 21 dealing with widow provides for any charge for maintenance on separate property of husband; Sadhu Singh v. Gurdwara Sahib Narike , AIR 2006 SC 3282.
Separate residence and maintenance
(i) The wife had been living alone and all the children had been brought up by her without any assistance and help from the husband and there was a clear case of desertion, the wife was entitled to separate residence and maintenance; Meera Nireshwalia v. Sukumar Nireshwalia, AIR 1994 Mad 168.
(ii) The thoughtless action of the husband of evicting the wife from the house where she had been living in collusion with the purchasers of the house and the police inflicted a deep wound on her amounting to cruelty, the wife was entitled to live separately and claim maintenance; Meera Nireshwalia v. Sukumar Nireshwalia, AIR 1994 Mad 168.
(iii) The claim for maintenance by a wife can also be sustained under clause (g) even on a ground covered by one or other clauses i.e. clause (a) to (f) of section 18(2) substantially but not fully. Merely because the wife fails to strictly prove the specific grounds urged by her, she cannot be denied relief; Meera Nireshwalia v. Sukumar Nireshwalia, AIR 1994 Mad 168.
19. Maintenance of widowed daughter-in-law.-
(1) A Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be maintained after the death of her husband by her father-in-law.
Provided and to the extent that she is unable to maintain herself out of her own earnings or other property or, where she has no property of her own, is unable to obtain maintenance-
(a) from the estate of her husband or her father or mother, or
(b) from her son or daughter, if any, or his or her estate.
(2) Any obligation under sub-section (1) shall not be enforceable if the father-in-law has not the means to do so from any coparcenary property in his possession out of which the daughter-in-law has not obtained any share, and any such obligation shall case on the re-marriage of the daughter-in-law.
20. Maintenance of children and aged parents.-
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section a Hindu is bound, during his or her lifetime, to maintain his or her legitimate or illegitimate children and his or her aged or inform parents.
(2) A legitimate or illegitimate child may claim maintenance from his or her father or mother so long as the child is a minor.
(3) The obligation of a person to maintain his or her aged or infirm parent or a daughter who is unmarried extends in so far as the parent or the unmarried daughter, as the case may be, is unable to maintain himself or herself out of his or her own earnings or other property.
Explanation.- In this section “parent” includes a childless step-mother
21. Dependants defined.-
For the purposes of this chapter “dependants” means the following relatives of the deceased.
(i) his or her father.
(ii) his or her mother,
(iii) his widow, so long as she does not re-marry.
(iv) his or her son or the son of his predeceased son or the son of a predeceased son of his predeceased son, so long as he isn minor, provided and to the extent that he is unable to obtain maintenance, in the case of a grandson from his father’s or mother’s estate, and in the case of a great grand-son, from the estate of his father or mother or father or father’s mother.
(v) his or her unmarried daughter or the unmarried daughter of his predeceased son or the unmarried daughter of a predeceased son of his predeceased son, so long as she remains unmarried, provided and to the extent that she is unable to obtain maintenance, in the case of a grand-daughter from her father’s or mother’s estate and in the case of a grand-daughter form her father’s or mother’s estate and in the case of a great-grand-daughter from the estate of her father or mother or father’s father or father’s mother.
(vi) his widowed daughter, provided and to the extent that she is unable to obtain maintenance –
(a) from the estate of her husband, or
(b) from her son or daughter if any, or his or her estate, or
(c) from her father-in-law or his father or the estate of either of them.
(vii) any widow of his son or of a son of his predeceased son, so long as she does not remarry: provided and to the extent that she is unable to obtain maintenance from her husband’s estate, or from her son or daughter, if any, or his or her estate, or in the case of a grandson’s widow, also from her father-in-law’s estate.
(viii) his or her minor illegitimate son, so long as he remains a minor.
(ix) his or her illegitimate daughter, so long as she remains unmarried.
22. Maintenance of dependants, –
(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) the heirs of a deceased Hindu are bound to maintain the dependants of the deceased out of the estate inherited by them from the deceased.
(2) Where a dependant has not obtained, by testamentary or intestate-succession, any share in the estate of a Hindu dying after the commencement of this Act, the dependant shall be entitled, subject to the provisions of this Act, to maintenance from those who take the estate.
(3) The liability of each of the persons who takes the estate shall be in proportion to the value of the share or part of the estate taken by him or her.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2) or sub-section (3), no person who is himself or herself a dependant shall be liable to contribute to the maintenance of others, if he or she has obtained a share or part, the value of which is, or would, if the liability to contribute were enforced, become less than what would be awarded to him or her by way of maintenance under this Act.
23. Amount of maintenance.-
(1) It shall be in the discretion of the Court to determine whether any, and if so what, maintenance shall be awarded under the provisions of this Act, and in doing so, the court shall have due regard to the considerations set out sub-section (2), or sub-section (3), as the case may be, so far as they are applicable.
(2) In determining the amount of maintenance, if any, to be award to a wife, children or aged or infirm parents under this Act, regard shall be had to –
(a) the position and status of the parties.
(b) the reasonable wants of the claimant
(c) if the claimant is living separately, whether the claimant is justified in doing so,
(d) the value of the claimant’s property and any income derived from such property, or from the claimants.
(e) the number of persons entitled to maintenance, if any, to be awarded to a dependant under this Act, regard shall be had to –
(3) In determining the amount of maintenance, if any, to be awarded to a dependant under this Act, regard shall be had to –
(a) the net value of the estate of the deceased after providing for the payment of his debts.
(b) the provisions, if any, made under a will of the deceased in respect of the dependant.
(c) the degree of relationship between the two.
(d) the reasonable wants of the dependants.
(e) the past relations between the dependant and the deceased.
(f) the value of the property of the dependant and any income derived from such property, or from his or her earnings or from any other source.
(g) the number of dependants entitled to maintenance under this Act.