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Moolchand vs Bhanwari on 21 January, 2020

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
JODHPUR
D.B. Civil Misc. Appeal No. 164/2020

Moolchand S/o Shri Nanu Ram, Aged About 36 Years, B/c Jat,
R/o Village Babalu, Tehsil and District Bikaner (Rajasthan)

—-Appellant
Versus
Bhanwari D/o Shri Manaram, W/o Moolchand, B/c Jat, R/o
Ramsar, Tehsil and District Bikaner (Rajasthan)

—-Respondent

For Appellant(s) : Mr. Saleem Khan Kayamkhani for Mr.
Ramesh Devasi

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANGEET LODHA
HON’BLE DR. JUSTICE PUSHPENDRA SINGH BHATI

Judgment

21/01/2020

1. This appeal is filed by the appellant assailing the legality of

the order dated 29.11.19 passed by the Family Court No.1, Bikaner

in Civil Misc. Petition No.6/19 (CIS No.239/19), whereby an

application preferred by the respondent under Section 24 of the

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (for short “the Act of 1955”) has been

allowed and the appellant is directed to pay maintenance pendente

lite to the respondent a sum of Rs.25,000/- for the period from

25.2.19 to 31.10.19 and further to pay Rs.6,000/- per month

w.e.f. 1.11.19.

2. The appellant filed a petition against the respondent seeking

divorce under the provisions of Section 13 of the Act of 1955.

During the pendency of the petition, the respondent filed an

application under Section 24 of the Act of 1955, claiming

maintenance pendente lite from the appellant a sum of

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Rs.10,000/- per month and legal expenses Rs.10,000/- in lump

sum. The respondent averred in the application that she has no

source of income, whereas the appellant is earning a sum of

Rs.40,000/- per month from agriculture and livestock.

3. The appellant contested the application by filing a reply

thereto, taking the stand that the respondent has deserted him

without any reason and therefore, she is not entitled for any

maintenance. The appellant denied that he is earning Rs.40,000/-

per month. It was averred that as a matter of fact, while working

as a labour, he is earning Rs.3,000-4,000 per month and therefore,

not in position to give any maintenance to the respondent.

4. After due consideration of the rival submissions and material

on record, the Family Court determined the amount payable

towards maintenance pendente lite to the respondent as aforesaid.

Hence, this appeal.

5. Learned counsel appearing for the appellant contended that

the appellant is earning only Rs.3,000-4,000 per month and

therefore, he is not in position to pay any maintenance to the

respondent. Learned counsel submitted that there was no evidence

produced by the appellant to establish that the respondent has

source of income from agriculture and livestock and thus, the

maintenance awarded by the Family Court on the basis of

speculation, is not justified. Learned counsel submitted that while

working as a labour, the appellant gets the work only for four

months in a year during the cultivation season but the Family

Court has failed to take into consideration this aspect of the

matter.

6. We have considered the submissions of the learned counsel

and perused the material on record.

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7. Indisputably, the purpose behind Section 24 of the Act of

1955 is to provide necessary financial assistance to the party to

the matrimonial dispute who has no independent income of his

own sufficient for her or his support or to bear the expenses of the

proceedings. While considering the application for award of interim

maintenance, the relevant consideration is the inability of the

spouse to maintain himself or herself for want of independent

income or inadequacy of the income to maintain at the level of

social status of other spouse. However, n o hard and fast rule can

be laid down for determination of the amount of interim

maintenance.

8. A bare perusal of the order impugned reveals that the Family

Court has not accepted the stand of the respondent that the

appellant is earning Rs.40,000/- per month from agriculture and

livestock rather, the assessment of the income of the respondent is

made taking into consideration the minimum wages notified. Thus,

while assessing the monthly income of the appellant as

Rs.15,000/- per month, a meagre sum of Rs.6,000/- per month

has been awarded to the respondent towards the maintenance

pendente lite. Further, instead of awarding maintenance for the

period w.e.f. 25.2.19 to 31.10.19 @ Rs.6,000/- per month, only

Rs.25,000/- lump sum has been awarded and no amount is

awarded towards the litigation expenses.

9. It is true that the income of the appellant from various

sources as pleaded was not established by any cogent evidence on

record, but on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the

conclusion drawn by the Family Court regarding the income of the

appellant and the order passed directing payment of meagre

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amount of Rs.6,000/- per month to the respondent towards

maintenance pendente lite, cannot be said to be excessive.

10. No case for interference by us in exercise of appellate

jurisdiction is made out.

11. The appeal is therefore, dismissed.

(PUSHPENDRA SINGH BHATI),J (SANGEET LODHA),J
52-Aditya/-

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