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Maintenance to Wife is for survival, not a reward : Delhi HC


In the matter of Vikas Bhutani v. State & Anr Delhi High Court held that the maintenance amount to wife is for her survival and not a bounty.

Husband approched Delhi high court to challenge the order by trial court. The trial court ordered Rupee 40,000 as interim maintenance to the wife under The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

The trial court had also ordered to pay the amount from the date of application i.e. March 2014. The wife was also awarded rupee 15,000 as maintenance under Sec 125 of Cr.P.C.

High court observed that husband was paying the amount of maintenance rupee 15,000 regularly. It was also bring in notice that wife then withdraw the application filed under Sec 125 Cr.P.C.

The Court has view regarding the objective of the maintenance :

“The object of grant of maintenance is to afford a subsistence allowance to the wife, who is not able to maintain herself, then the award normally should be from the date of the application.”

This was also the view of the bench that:

“The fact that time is spent between the date of the application and a final adjudication and an award in favour of the wife, does not mean that she had enough funds to maintain herself. When the trial court comes to conclusion after trial that the wife is entitled to an amount of maintenance the assessment in fact relates back to the date of the application.”

The bench considered the order on the matter of Bimla Devi Vs Shamsher Singh, which talk about obligation and duty of a husband towards his wife as:

“Maintenance is a right which accrues to a wife against her husband since the inception of her getting married with him. A moral and legal obligation and duty is cast upon the husband to maintain his wife. The necessary corollary is that from the time the wife starts residing separately from her husband, she can claim maintenance from him.”

The bench dismissed the appeal of the husband as:

“Accordingly, petitioner shall pay maintenance at the rate of Rs. 40,000/- per month from the date of filing of the application i.e. March, 2014. Petitioner would be entitled to an adjustment of the amount that petitioner has already paid in terms of the order passed in the application under Section 125 Cr.P.C. and the interim orders passed by this court.”

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