Section 24 and litigation charges

Harinder Jeet Kaur vs Mohinder Paul Singh on 26/9/2005

ORDER

Ajay Kumar Mittal, J.

1. In this application filed by the appellant -wife under Section 24 of the
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (for short “the Act”) read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure she has prayed for a direction to the respondent-husband to pay to her a sum of Rs. 25,000/- as costs of litigation stating that she has incurred the said amount for filing the present appeal. The respondent-husband in his reply as stated that as per Section 24 of the Act only that spouse can be granted the costs of litigation who has no independent income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceedings. It is stated that the appellant-wife is herself earning a sum of Rs. 13,000-14,000/- per month by way of salary from her employment as Senior Clerk in the Cooperative Bank and she has suppressed the material facts from the Court which is a vital factor for consideration of such prayer.

2. After hearing counsel for the parties and perusing the provisions of
Section 24 of the Act, I am of the view that the prayer of the appellant cannot be granted. Section 24 of the Act reads thus :

24. Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings. Where in any
proceeding under this Act it appears to the Court that either the wife or the
husband, as the case may be, has no independent income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding it may, on the application of the wife or the husband, order the respondent to pay to the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding, and monthly during the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioner’s own income and the income of the respondent, it may seem to the Court to be reasonable.

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3. A bare reading of the Section 24 of the Act clearly goes to show that where it appears to the Court that the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding, the Court may order the respondent to pay to the petitioner such sum as expenses of the proceeding and monthly during the proceeding having regard to petitioner’s own income and the income of the respondent as may seem to it to be reasonable. In the present case, it has come on record by way of reply filed by the respondent that, the wife has been earning a sum of Rs.13,000/- to 14,000/- per month from her employment. It appears that the appellant has intentionally concealed this fact from the Court lest her prayer is not rejected. Neither any rejoinder has been filed by the appellant to controvert the above fact nor the counsel for the appellant could bring any material to the notice of the Court which may belie the assertion of the respondent about the income of the appellant. The income of the appellant as aforesaid, in my view, is sufficient to meet the expenses of filing the present appeal. The appellant is therefore, not entitled to any costs of the present litigation.

4. In view of the above, the application is dismissed.

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