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Section 18 in The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956
The Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1968
Section 24 in The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956
Neelam Malhotra vs Rajinder Malhotra And Ors. on 6 July, 1993
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In The Matter Of vs Smt. Deepmala @ Deepika on 26 August, 2017

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Punjab-Haryana High Court
Mrs. Mohini Bharat Alias Seema And ... vs V.K. Bharat on 1 December, 2003
Equivalent citations: (2004) 137 PLR 311
Author: A Mohunta
Bench: A Mohunta

ORDER Ashutosh Mohunta, J.

1. Mrs. Mohini Bharat wife of the respondent has filed this revision petition to challenge the order dated 15.5.2001 passed by the Civil Judge (Junior Division), Ludhiana, whereby the application filed by the petitioner for grant of interim maintenance under Section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, has been kept pending for decision after recording of evidence.

2. The contention of Mrs. Mohini Bharat is that she did not have independent source of income to maintain herself as well as her four year old daughter, namely, Aanchal. According to her, she as her daughter were living with her mother Mrs. Devki Devi, who did not have sufficient income even to maintain herself. Mrs. Mohini Bharat petitioner has claimed interim maintenance at the rate of Rs. 3,000/- per month for herself and her daughter Aanchal each under Section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (for short 'the Act'). The application was contested by her husband, who contended that Mrs. Mohini Bharat was serving as Computer Operator in M/s P.L.Printers, S.C.O. No. 24, Bhadaur House, Ludhiana, and was drawing a salary of Rs. 5,000/- per month and, thus, she was not competent to the grant of maintenance under Section 18 of the Act.

3. It has been contended by the learned counsel for the respondent that the Court has no power to award interim maintenance under Section 18 of the Act as the said section does not authorise award of interim maintenance pending decision on claim to maintenance, which is in contest in the suit. As in the present case, the claim made by her has been contested by the respondent, interim maintenance pendente lite should not be granted to her. In support of his contention he has placed reliance on Single Bench decision of this Court in Makhan Singh v. Jagdish Singh, 1992 Civil Courts Cases 29.

4. I do not find any merit in the contention raised on behalf of the respondent. Section 151, Code of Civil Procedure, read with Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, vests the Court with inherent powers to grant maintenance even if such relief is not specifically provided for in the statute or procedural law. It has been so held by this Court in Ded Raj v. Smt. Indira, 1999(2) R.C.R. (Civil) 44. In the case reported as Neelam Malhotra v. Rajinder Malhotra, 1993(3) Recent Revenue Reports 577, it has been held that grant of maintenance pendente lite is incidental and ancillary to the substantive relief of maintenance envisaged in Section 18 of the Act. It has further been held that a Court which is 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 such relief.

5. Indisputably, the petitioner has filed a civil suit claiming maintenance from the respondent. It is also submitted by her that she was mal-treated and harassed mentally as well as physically by the respondent and his family members. She has apprehension that it will be harmful and injurious for her if she starts living with the respondent, The claim for her maintenance is yet to be decided by the Civil Court. At present the petitioner and her daughter are residing with her widowed mother Smt. Devki Devi, who does not have sufficient income to support the petitioner and her daughter.

6. Consequently, I allow the revision petition and grant interim maintenance to Mrs. Mohini Bharat and her female child at rate of Rs. 2,000/- per month with effect from the date of the application for claiming interim maintenance. The arrears be given to Mrs. Mohini within three months from today.

7. Nothing stated above, shall be construed as an expression of my opinion on the merits of the case.