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Ganga Prasad Srivastava vs Additional District Judge Gonda … on 2 May, 2019

HIGHCOURTOFJUDICATUREATALLAHABAD,LUCKNOWBENCH

AFR

Reservedon:-18.04.2019

Pronouncedon:-02.05.2019

CourtNo.-22

Case:-SECONDAPPEALNo.-344of2006

Appellant:-GangaPrasadSrivastava

Respondent:-AdditionalDistrictJudgeGondaAndOthers

CounselforAppellant:-MukeshSaxena,AmitDwivedi,R.S.Awasthi,VinodKumarMishra

CounselforRespondent:-ArunKumarShukla,N.P.Ojha,SatishChandraKashish

Hon’bleVedPrakashVaish,J.

1. HeardSriAmitDwivedi,learnedcounselfortheappellantandSriSatishChandraKashish,learnedcounselfortherespondents..

2. Theappellant-husbandhasfiledthepresentsecondappealunderSection100oftheCodeofCivilProcedure(hereinafterreferredtoas”C.P.C.”)againstthejudgmentanddecreedated10.07.2006passedbyAdditionalDistrictSessionsJudge,GondainCivilAppealNo.9of2006wherebytheappealfiledbytherespondentNo.3herein-wifewasallowedandtheappellantwasdirectedtopaythemaintenancefromthedateoffilingofthesuit.

3. SuccinctlystatingthatthefactsofthecasearethatSmt.KiranSrivastava(respondentNo.3herein/plaintiffintheregularsuit)filedasuitformaintenance,whichwasregisteredasRegularSuitNo.229of1999titledasSmt.KiranSrivastavavs.GangaPrasadSrivastava.ThecaseofrespondentNo.3isthatshewasmarriedwithGangaPrasadSrivastava(appellantherein)intheyear1985accordingtoHinduRitesandCeremonies,aftermarriagetheystartedlivingashusbandandwife;intheyear1987,therespondentagainmarriedwithoneRekha;thepetitionerwastorturedandshewasturnedoutfromthematrimonialhouseinthemonthofSeptember1994andsheislivingseparately;thepetitionerisnotemployed,sheisnotearningandherfatherisunabletomaintainher.Itwasalsoaverredthatthedefendant(appellantherein)isworkingasAdditionalEngineeratBarabankiandhisincomeisRs.4,000/-permonth.ThepetitionerclaimedasumofRs.2,000/-towardsmaintenancewitheffectfromSeptember1994.

4. Thesuitwascontestedbytheappellant/defendantbyfilingwrittenstatement.Theappellant/defendantdeniedtheallegationsmadeintheplaint.Intheadditionalstatement,itisstatedthatthemarriagewassolemnizedon09.05.1985withoutdisclosingacuteleprosydisease.ItwasstatedthattheparentsofthepetitionertookherinthemonthofJuly,1985fornecessarytreatmentandthereaftershedidnotreturnback.ItwasalsostatedthattheplaintiffisintermediatepassandwasgivingtuitionsandearingRs.2,000/-permonth.Itwasdeniedthattheappellant/defendanthasremarried.Itwasalsostatedthatheismaintaininghisailingparentsandsiblings.

5. Onthepleadingsofpartiesfollowingissueswereframedbylearnedtrialcourt:-

“1D;kokfnuhokniesanf’kZrvk/kkjksaijizfroknhlsHkj.kiks”k.kdkokafNrvuqrks”kikusdhvf/kdkfj.khgS

2D;kokfnuhdksdskbZokngsrqdizkIrgS

3D;kokfnuhusizfroknhdslkFk/kks[kknsdjviukfookgfd;kFkk

4D;kfyf[krdFkuesafd;sx;svfHkopuksadsvk/kkjijizfroknhokfnuhdkstqykbZ85lsvfHkR;Drfd;sgq,gS

5D;kokfnuhfdlhvU;vuqrks”kdksizkIrdjusdhvf/kdkfj.khgS”

6. Byjudgmentanddecreedated7thJanuary,2006,thesuitwasdecreedbylearnedCivilJudge(SeniorDevision),Gondaandtheappellant-husbandwasdirectedtopayasumofRs.2,000/-permonthtowardsmaintenancefromthedateofjudgment,by7thdayofeachmonthtotheplaintiff,thesaidamountwouldbepaiduntilsheremarries.

7. Againstthesaidjudgmentanddecreedated07.01.2006therespondentNo.3hereinfiledaCivilAppealNo.9of2006,sheclaimedthatthemaintenanceshouldhavebeenawardedfromthedateoffilingofthesuitalongwithinterest17%perannum.

8. Videjudgmentanddecreedated10.07.2006,theappealwaspartlyallowed,judgmentanddecreedated07.01.2006wasmodifiedandthedefendant(appellantherein)wasdirectedtopaymaintenanceRs.2,000/-permonthfromthedateoffilingofthesuit,thatis,26.03.1999andtheappellant/defendantwasdirectedtopayarrearsofmaintenancewithintwomonths.

9. Feelingaggrievedbythesaidjudgmentanddecree,theappellant(husband)haspreferredthepresentsecondappealunderSection100oftheC.P.C..Thedefendantintheoriginalsuitistheappellant,plaintiffisrespondentNo.3inthepresentappealandrespondentsNo.1and2areAdditionalDistrictJudgeandCivilJudge(S.D.),Gondarespectively.

10. Videorderdated05.07.2017,mylearnedpredecessoradmittedtheappealonthefollowingsubstantialquestionsoflaw:

“1.Whetherplaintiffisentitledformaintenancefromthedateofmovingoftheplaint/applicationorfromthedateofjudgmentanddecreepassedbythetrialcourt.

2.WhetherthejudgmentpassedbytheappellantcourtisinaccordancewiththeprovisionsasprovidedunderSection25ofHinduMarriageAct,1955.”

11. LearnedcounselfortheappellanturgedthatearliertherespondentNo.3wifehadfiledthepresentsuitforclaimingmaintenanceunderSection25oftheHinduMarriageAct,1955(hereinafterreferredtoas”Act,1955″).ItwasneitherthepetitionunderSection125oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure,1973(hereinafterreferredtoas”SectionCr.P.C.”)norunderSection18oftheHinduAdoptionsAndMaintenanceAct,1956(hereinafterreferredtoas”Act,1956″).

12. Learnedcounselfortheappellantalsosubmittedthatthereisnoprovisionforgrantofmaintenancefromthedateoffilingofthe[email protected]2,000/-permonthwitheffectfromthedateofjudgment.

13. Percontra,learnedcounselforrespondentNo.3contendedthattherespondentNo.3-wifehadfiledapetitionunderSection18oftheAct,1956andnotunderSection25oftheAct,1955.Learnedcounselfortherespondentfurthersubmittedthatthewifeisentitledtogetmaintenancefromthedateoffilingofthesuit.

14. Ihavecarefullyconsideredthesubmissionsmadebythelearnedcounselforboththeparties.Ihavealsocarefullygonethroughthematerialonrecord.

15. ThefirstquestionwhichcomesupforconsiderationisunderwhichprovisiontherespondentNo.3wifehadfiledthesuit.TherespondentNo.3/plaintiffhasnotmentionedtheprovisionsunderwhichshefiledthesuitforclaimingmaintenance.NeitherinthesuitnorinthefirstappealitwasstatedthatthesuitwasfiledunderSection125oftheCodeofCriminalProcedureorunderSection18oftheAct,1956orSection25oftheAct,1955.

16. ThecounselfortheappellantsubmitsthatthesuitwasfiledundertheprovisionsofSection25oftheAct,1955whereasaccordingtothecounselfortherespondentNo.3wife,thesuitwasfiledunderSection18oftheAct,1956.

17. LearnedcounselforboththepartiesareatconsensusthatthesuitwasnotfiledundertheprovisionsofSection125oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure,1973.Thus,whatisleftforconsiderationiswhetherthesuitwasfiledunderSection25oftheAct,1955orunderSection18oftheAct,1956.Itisnecessarytoconsidertherelevantprovisions.

18. Section25oftheAct,1955readsasunder:-

“25Permanentalimonyandmaintenance.

(1)AnycourtexercisingjurisdictionunderthisActmay,atthetimeofpassinganydecreeoratanytimesubsequentthereto,onapplicationmadetoitforthepurposebyeitherthewifeorthehusband,asthecasemaybe,orderthattherespondentshallpaytotheapplicantforherorhismaintenanceandsupportsuchgrosssumorsuchmonthlyorperiodicalsumforatermnotexceedingthelifeoftheapplicantas,havingregardtotherespondent’sownincomeandotherproperty,ifany,theincomeandotherpropertyoftheapplicant,theconductofthepartiesandothercircumstancesofthecase],itmayseemtothecourttobejust,andanysuchpaymentmaybesecured,ifnecessary,byachargeontheimmovablepropertyoftherespondent.

(2)Ifthecourtissatisfiedthatthereisachangeinthecircumstancesofeitherpartyatanytimeafterithasmadeanorderundersub-section(1),itmayattheinstanceofeitherparty,vary,modifyorrescindanysuchorderinsuchmannerasthecourtmaydeemjust.

(3)Ifthecourtissatisfiedthatthepartyinwhosefavouranorderhasbeenmadeunderthissectionhasre-marriedor,ifsuchpartyisthewife,thatshehasnotremainedchaste,or,ifsuchpartyisthehusband,thathehashadsexualintercoursewithanywomanoutsidewedlock,itmayattheinstanceoftheotherpartyvary,modifyorrescindanysuchorderinsuchmannerasthecourtmaydeemjust.”

19. Section18oftheAct,1956readsasunder:-

“18Maintenanceofwife.–

(1)Subjecttotheprovisionsofthissection,aHinduwife,whethermarriedbeforeorafterthecommencementofthisAct,shallbeentitledtobemaintainedbyherhusbandduringherlifetime.

(2)AHinduwifeshallbeentitledtoliveseparatelyfromherhusbandwithoutforfeitingherclaimtomaintenance–

(a)ifheisguiltyofdesertion,thatistosay,ofabandoningherwithoutreasonablecauseandwithoutherconsentoragainstherwish,orwilfullyneglectingher;

(b)ifhehastreatedherwithsuchcrueltyastocauseareasonableapprehensioninhermindthatitwillbeharmfulorinjurioustolivewithherhusband;

(c)ifheissufferingfromavirulentformofleprosy;

(d)ifhehasanyotherwifeliving;

(e)ifhekeepsaconcubineinthesamehouseinwhichhiswifeislivingorhabituallyresideswithaconcubineelsewhere;

(f)ifhehasceasedtobeaHindubyconversiontoanotherreligion;

(g)ifthereisanyothercausejustifyinglivingseparately.

(3)AHinduwifeshallnotbeentitledtoseparateresidenceandmaintenancefromherhusbandifsheisunchasteorceasestobeaHindubyconversiontoanotherreligion.”

20. Section25oftheAct,1955referstothepaymentstobemadeunderitbyone’sspousetoanotherasmaintenance.ThesectioniswideenoughtoenablethecourtexercisingjurisdictionundertheAct,1955,thatis,underanyprovisionsoftheAct,1955includingproceedingforannulment,tograntpermanentalimony.Inotherwords,theSectionvestswidepowerintheCourtmakingordersformaintenanceandsupportofone’sspousebytheotherwhereitpassesanydecreeforrestitutionofconjugalrights,judicialseparation,dissolutionofmarriagebydivorceorannulmentofthemarriageonthegroundthatitwasvoidorvoidableorevenatanytimesubsequentthereto.

21. Atthisjuncture,itisrelevanttomentionherethatthelegislaturehasusedthewords’……atthetimeofpassinganydecreeoratanytimesubsequentthereto……’.ThesaidwordsindicatethatanorderforpermanentalimonyormaintenanceinfavourofthewifeorthehusbandcanonlybemadewhenadecreeispassedgrantinganysubstantivereliefundertheAct,1955.Theword’decree’inthesectionreferstodecreesundertheprovisionsofSections9toSection14oftheAct,1955whichresultindisruptionofthemaritalstatusoftheparties.Thus,aclaimformaintenanceundertheprovisionsoftheSection25oftheAct,1955isdependentonthepassingofadecree,leadingtodisruptionofthestatusofthespousesoramaritaldisruption.

22. Moreover,Section25oftheAct,1955clearlyprovidesthatmaintenancemaybegrantedonan’application’ofapartyatthetimeofpassingofdecreeoratanysubsequenttime,andthereforeitenvisagesthatnoseparatesuitisrequiredtobefiledforthesame.

23. TheprovisionsoftheAct,1956providesthataspousecanseekmaintenanceundertheprovisionsofSection18(1)duringthelifetimeoftheclaimant.Section18(2)givesarighttothewifetoclaimmaintenancewhilelivingseparatelyfromherhusbandwithoutgivingupherclaimtomaintenance.Hence,thewifecanclaimmaintenanceunderthissectionwhilehermarriageissustaining,whereastherighttoclaimmaintenanceundertheprovisionsofSection25oftheAct,1955isdependentupondisruptionofthemarriageresultinginadecree.ThejurisdictionvestedintheCourtunderboththeenactmentsareseparateanddistinct.

24. ThereasonforthisdistinctionofdenialofreliefinrelationtotheproceedingforadjudicationofclaimsofmaintenanceisamootquestionwhichgoestotherootofthejurisdictionoftheCourt.Thisisso,since,aclaimformaintenanceundertheprovisionofSection25isdependentonthepassingofadecree,leadingtodisruptionofthestatusofthespousesoramaritaldisruption,whereastheclaimofaspouseundertheprovisionsofHinduAdoptionandSectionMaintenanceAct,1956doesnot.UnderthatAct,thespousecanseekmaintenanceundertheprovisionsofSection18(1)duringthelifetimeoftheclaimant.Section18(2)givesarighttothewifetoclaimmaintenancewhilelivingseparatelyfromthehusbandwithoutgivingupherclaimtomaintenance.Hence,thewifecanclaimmaintenanceunderthatSectionwhilehermarriage,issustaining,whereastherighttoclaimmaintenanceunderSection25isdependentuponthedisruptionofthemarriageresultinginadecree.

25. Inthecaseof’SectionChandDhawan(Smt)vs.JawaharlalDhawan’,(1993)3SCC406,theHon’bleSupremeCourtobservedasunder:-

“25.Wehavethus,inthislight,nohesitationincomingtotheviewthatwhenbycourtinterventionundertheSectionHinduMarriageAct,affectionordisruptiontothemaritalstatushascomeby,atthatjuncture,whilepassingthedecree,itundoubtedlyhasthepowertograntpermanentalimonyormaintenance,ifthatpowerisinvokedatthattime.Italsoretainsthepowersubsequentlytobeinvokedonapplicationbyapartyentitledtorelief.Andsuchorder,inallevents,remainswithinthejurisdictionofthatcourt,tobealteredormodifiedasfuturesituationsmaywarrant.Incontrast,withoutaffectationordisruptionofthemaritalstatus,aHinduwifesustaining`thatstatuscanliveinseparationfromherhusband,andwhethersheislivinginthatstateornot,herclaimtomaintenancestandspreservedincodificationunderSectionsection18(1)oftheHinduAdoptionsandSectionMaintenanceAct.ThecourtisnotatlibertytograntreliefofmaintenancesimplicitorobtainableunderoneActinproceedingsundertheother.Asisevident,boththestatutesarecodifiedassuchandareclearontheirsubjectsandbyliberalityofinterpretationinter-changeabilitycannotbepermittedsoastodestroythedistinctiononthesubjectofmaintenance.”

26. Intheinstantcase,thesuitforclaimingmaintenancewasfiledon26.03.1999beforethecourtoflearnedCivilJudge(SeniorDevision),GondaandthesuitwasnotfiledalongwithanypetitionunderanyprovisionsoftheAct,1955.Asdiscussedabove,thesuitcouldnothavebeenfiledunderSection25oftheAct,1955becausethereisnodisruptionofmarriageandtherewasnoproceedingsundertheAct,1955.Therelationshipofhusbandandwifehasnotbeendisputedbytheappellant,inthewrittenstatement.Inviewoftheaforesaiddistinctionbetweenthetwoprovisions,inmyconsideredview,thesuitfiledbeforethecivilcourtwasunderSection18oftheHinduAdoptionandSectionMaintenanceAct,1956.

27. NowcomingtothesecondquestionwhethertherespondentNo.3isentitledtogetmaintenancefromthedateoffilingofthepetitionorfromthedateofjudgment,itmaybementionedthatSection18oftheAct,1956doesnotprovidethedatefromwhichthemaintenancewillbeawarded.

28. AccordingtotheLawwithregardtomaintenance,thereisanobligationofthehusbandtomaintainhiswifewhichdoesnotarisebyreasonofanycontract-expressorimpliedbutoutofjuralrelationshipwithhusbandandwifeconsequenttotheperformanceofmarriage.Suchanobligationofthehusbandtomaintainhiswifearisesirrespectiveofthefactwhetherhehasorhasnoproperty,asitisconsideredanimperativedutyandasolemnobligationofthehusbandtomaintainhiswife.Thehusbandcannotbeheardsayingthatheisunabletomaintainduetofinancialconstraintssolongasheiscapableofearning.

29. Therighttomaintenanceisastatutoryright.Thelawrecognizestherightofthewifeandthehusbandtobeinequalijurainthematterofmaintenance.Theobjectofawardingmaintenanceistoprovidefinancialassistancetospousewhoisunabletomaintainherselforhimself,asthecasemaybe.

30. Itisrelevanttopointoutthataccordingtosub-section(1)ofSection18oftheHinduAdoptionandSectionMaintenanceAct,1956,aHinduwifeisentitledtogetmaintenancefromherhusbandduringherlifetime.Sheisentitledtoclaimmaintenancefromherhusbandsolongassheischastesubjecttotheconditionslaiddowninsub-section(2)ofSection18ofthesaidAct.

31. Atthisjuncture,itwillnotbeoutofplacetomentionherethatSection125oftheCr.P.C.,thereisnospecificprovisionthatthemaintenanceshouldbegrantedfromthedateofjudgmentorfromthedateoffilingoftheapplication/petition.Section125envisagestheprovisionsforgrantofmaintenancetowife,childrenandparentsandsubsection2ofSection125oftheCr.P.C.thatanysuchallowanceforthemaintenanceorinterimmaintenanceandexpensesforproceedingsshallbepayablefromthedateoftheorder,or,ifsoordered,fromthedateoftheapplicationformaintenanceorinterimmaintenanceandexpensesofproceeding,asthecasemaybe.

32. ThetwoJudges’BenchoftheHon’bleSupremeCourtin’SectionKirtikantD.Vadodariavs.StateofGujaratandanother’,(1996)4SCC479,whileadvertingtothedominantpurposeofSection125oftheCodeofCriminalProcedureobservedasunder:-

“………….WhiledealingwiththeambitandscopeoftheprovisioncontainedinSection125oftheCode,ithastobeborneinmindthatthedominantandprimaryobjectistogivesocialjusticetothewoman,childandinfirmparentsetc.andtopreventdistitutionandvagrancybycompellingthosewhocansupportthosewhoareunabletosupportthemselvesbuthaveamoralclaimforsupport.TheprovisionsinSectionsection125provideaspeedyremedytothosewomen.childrenanddestituteparentswhoareindistress.TheprovisionsinSection125areintendedtoachievethisspecialpurpose.ThedominantpurposebehindthebenevolentprovisionscontainedinSection125clearlyisthatthewife,childandparentsshouldnotbeleftinahelplessstateofdistress,destitutionandstarvation,HavingregardtothissocialobjecttheprovisionsofSection125oftheCodehavetobegivenaliberalconstructiontofulfilandachievethisintentionoftheLegislature…………….”

33. Inthecaseof’SectionJaiminibenHirenbhaiVyasandanothervs.HirenbhaiRameshchandraVyasandanother'(2015)2SCC385theHon’bleSupremeCourtheldasfollows:-

“5. Section125Cr.P.C.,therefore,impliedlyrequiresthecourttoconsidermakingtheorderformaintenanceeffectivefromeitherofthetwodates,havingregardtothetherelevantfacts.Forgoodreason,evidentfromitsorder,thecourtmaychooseeitherdate.Itisneitherappropriatenordesirablethatacourtsimplystatesthatmaintenanceshouldbepaidfromeitherthedateoftheorderorthedateoftheapplicationinmattersofmaintenance.Thus,asperSection354(6)SectionCr.P.C,thecourtshouldrecordreasonsinsupportoftheorderpassedbyit,inbotheventualities.Thepurposeoftheprovisionistopreventvagrancyanddestitutioninsocietyandthecourtmustapplyitsmindtotheoptionshavingregardtothefactsoftheparticularcase.”

34. Whiledealingwiththerelevantdateforgrantofmaintenance,theHon’bleSupremeCourtinthecaseof’SectionShailKumariDeviandanothervs.KrishanBhagwanPathak’,(2008)9SCC632,theHon’bleSupremeCourtreferredtoSectiontheCodeofSectionCriminalProcedure(Amendment)Act,2001andobservedasunder:-

“21…………………Evenaftertheamendmentof2001,anorderforpaymentofmaintenancecanbemadebyacourteitherfromthedateoftheorderorwhereanexpressorderismadetopaymaintenancefromthedateofapplication,thentheamountofmaintenancecanbepaidfromthatdatei.e.fromthedateofapplication”

35. Intheaforesaidcase,Hon’bleSupremeCourtafterconsideringthedecisionofDivisionBenchoftheHighCourtofMadhyaPradeshin’SectionKrishnaJainvs.DharamRajJain’,1992CriLJ1028(MP)observedasunder:-

“37…………………Toholdthat,normallymaintenanceshouldbemadepayablefromthedateoftheorderandnotfromthedateoftheapplicationunlesssuchorderisbackedbyreasonswouldamounttoinsertingsomethingmoreinthesub-sectionwhichthelegislatureneverintended.TheCourtobservedthatitwasunabletoreadinsub-section(2)layingdownanyruletoawardmaintenancefromthedateoftheorderorthatthegrantfromthedateoftheapplicationisanexception.”

36. Further,inShailKumari’scase(supra),afterreferringtothedecisioninKrishnaJain’s(supra),theHon’bleSupremeCourtconsideredthejudgmentoftheHighCourtofAndhraPradeshin’SectionK.Sivaramvs.K.Mangalamba’,1990CriLJ1880andruledthus;

“43. We,therefore,holdthatwhiledecidinganapplicationunderSection125oftheCode,aMagistrateisrequiredtorecordreasonsforgrantingorrefusingtograntmaintenancetowives,childrenorparents.Suchmaintenancecanbeawardedfromthedateoftheorder,or,ifsoordered,fromthedateoftheapplicationformaintenance,asthecasemaybe,.Forawardingmaintenancefromthedateoftheapplication,expressorderisnecessary.Nospecialreasons,however,arerequiredtoberecordedbythecourt.Inourjudgment,nosuchrequirementcanbereadinsub-section(1)ofSection125oftheCodeinabsenceofexpressprovisiontothateffect.”

37. Further,inanothercase’SectionSusmitaMohantyvs.RabindraNathSahu’,II(1996)DMC567,afterconsideringtheprovisionsofSection125oftheCr.P.C.adoptingtheprinciplethatawardofmaintenanceisamodeofpreventingvagrancyoritsconsequencestheCourtsaidthatthemaintenanceshouldbecompletedfromthedateoftheapplicationandnotfromthedateoforder,asprotractedlitigationmaydeprivetheneedypartyofavailingthemaintenance.

38. Inthecaseof’SectionPradeepKumarPradhanvs.DalimbaSahu’,AIR2003Ori79,whilegrantingmaintenancetothewifeinaproceedingunderSection9oftheAct,1955,therewasacontroversyastowhetherthesaidmaintenancewouldbepayablefromthedateoftheapplicationorfromhedateoftheorder.TheCourtobservedthatnormallyalimonyistobegrantedfromthedateofapplication.

39. Inanothercase’SectionBhanwarLalvs.Smt.KamlaDevi’,AIR1983Rajasthan229,Hon’bleSingleJudgeofRajasthanHighCourtwhiledealingwithamatterofdelayoccasionedduetolapseoftheCourtobservedthatfortheactoftheCourtnopartyshouldsufferandaccordinglyruledthattheinterimmaintenancetothewifeshouldbeawardedfromthedateoftheapplication.

40. Inthecaseof’SectionVinnyParmvirParmarvs.ParmvirParmar’,(2011)13SCC112,apetitionfiledbytherespondentinthefamilycourtfordivorceonthegroundofcrueltywasconvertedintodivorcebymutualconsentandthemarriagewasdissolvedbyadecreeunderSection13-BoftheHinduMarriageAct,1955.ThequestionadjudicatedbytheHighCourtwasabouttheamountofmaintenance/permanentalimonyintermsofSection25oftheAct,1955.Inthesaidcircumstances,themaintenancewasgrantedfromthedateofapplication.

41. Inanothercase’SectionSusheelammavs.K.Gaviyanna’,(2007)15SCC666,thetrialcourtdirectedtherespondenttopaymaintenanceattherateofRs.1000/-permonthfromthedateoffilingofthesuit.Againstthesaidorder,anappealwaspreferred.Duringpendencyoftheappeal,anapplicationwasfiledforstayingoperationofthedirectionofthetrialcourtformakingpaymentoftheamountofmaintenance.TheHighCourtdirectedtherespondenttopaymaintenanceattherateofRs.750/-permonthfromthedateoffilingoftheappeal.Inthesaidcircumstances,theHon’bleSupremeCourtdirectedthatoperationoftheorderpassedbythetrialcourtshallremainstayediftherespondentpaysentirearrearsfromthedateoffilingofthesuittillbeforethefilingoftheappealattherateofRs.750/-permonthwithinsixmonthsinthreeequalbimonthlyinstallmentsandshallcontinuetopaythecurrentamountofmaintenanceasdirectedbytheappellatecourt.

42. Aclosereadingofallthesecaselawswouldleadtotheconclusionthatinthematterofmaintenancefromthedateofapplicationshouldalwaysberegardedasthestartingpointforpaymentofmaintenanceasotherwiseapartyseekingmaintenancemaybedeprivedofsuchmaintenanceduetodelayindisposalofthepetition/application,whichmayoccasionbytheactoftheCourtoractofoneoftheparties.Theratiooftheabovenotedcasessatisfyjudicialconscienceandthereisnoreasonnottoconcurtothesaidview.Theconclusion,therefore,onthesubjectwouldbethatwheneverthereiscontrarydirectionoftheCourtintheorderofmaintenance,thenormalinferenceshouldbethattheorderofmaintenancewouldbeeffectivefromthedateoftheapplication.

43. Intheinstantcase,therelationshipofhusbandandwifeisnotdisputed,itisalsonotdisputedthatrespondentNo.3wifewasresidingseparately.Maintenanceisarightwhichaccruestoawifeagainstherhusbandsincetheinceptionofhergettingmarriedwithhim.Amoralandlegalobligationanddutyiscasteuponthehusbandtomaintainhiswife.Thenecessarycorollaryisthatthewifecanclaimmaintenancefromthetimeshestartsresidingseparatelyfromherhusband.ThereisnoprohibitionunderSection18oftheAct,1956forgrantingofmaintenancefromthedateoffilingofthesuit/petition.TherewasenormousdelayindisposalofthesuitfiledbyrespondentNo.3,asinthepresentcasethesuitfiledon26.03.1999cametobedisposedofon07.01.2006,thatis,afteraboutsevenyears.Tillsuchtime,respondentNo.3cannotbeaskedtostarve.Inthesecircumstances,inmyopinion,itisrequiredtograntofmaintenancefromthedateofapplication/filingofthesuitandbysogranting,learnedAdditionalDistrictJudge,Gondahasnotcommittedanylegalinfirmity.

44. Intheresult,theappealiswithoutanymerit,samedeservestothedismissedandthesameisherebydismissed.

45. Noorderastocosts.

46. Interimapplication,ifany,standsdisposedof.

47. Lowercourtrecordsbesentbackforthwith.

(VedPrakashVaish)

Judge

OrderDate:-02ndMay,2019

cks/-

 

 

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