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Naveen Kumar vs Payal on 26 October, 2018

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
JODHPUR
S.B. Civil Misc. Appeal No. 2002/2018

Naveen Kumar S/o Shri Parmanand, Aged about 37 Years, By
Caste Arora, (Ahuja), Resident of Ward No. 18, Anoopgarh,
District Sri Ganganagar.

—-Appellant
Versus
Payal W/o Naveen Kumar, Aged About 26 Years, D/o
Bhagwandas Chug, By Caste Arora, Resident of Ward No. 08,
Anoopgarh, District Sri Ganganagar.

—-Respondent

For Appellant(s) : Mr. D.S. Rajvi
For Respondent(s) : Mr. H.R. Chawla

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE P.K. LOHRA

Judgment

26/10/2018

Appellant has preferred the instant appeal to challenge order

dated 17th of March, 2018, passed by Addl. District Judge,

Anoopgarh (for short, ‘learned Court below’). By the order

impugned, learned Court below has partly allowed the application

of respondent-wife under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act,

1955 (for short, ‘Act’) in a petition for dissolution of marriage laid

by her.

The facts, apposite are that respondent filed a petition for

divorce against appellant, inter-alia, on the ground of physical and

mental cruelty besides desertion. Pleading atrocities against

appellant, respondent has also averred in the divorce petition that
(2 of 4) [CMA-2002/2018]

she was falsely castigated for adultery by him. Respondent

further averred that by categorizing her unchaste appellant has

perpetrated mental cruelty. Alleging misappropriation of her

Stridhan and uprooting from matrimonial home, respondent

clearly stated in the petition that appellant has deserted her for

last two years and there is no cohabitation between spouses since

then.

Petition for divorce is contested by appellant by filing reply.

In the return, appellant denied all the allegations with full

emphasis. Trial of the petition is under progress.

During pendency of divorce petition, respondent filed an

application under Section 24 of the Act claiming maintenance

pendente lite. The application is opposed by appellant. Learned

Court below, by the order impugned, partly allowed the application

of respondent-wife and awarded maintenance to the tune of

Rs.3,000/- per mensem.

I have heard learned counsel for the parties, perused

impugned order and scanned record of the case. In support of

arguments, learned counsel for the appellant has placed reliance

on following judgments:

(1) Bhanwarlal Vs. Smt. Kamla Devi (1981 WLN 343),
(2) Sanjay Kumar Sinha Vs. Asha Kumar Anr. [SLP(C)
No.6301/2017, decided on 9th of April 2018)

The right of a wife for maintenance is an incident of status or

estate of matrimony. Therefore, in general, a husband is bound to

defray the wife’s costs of any proceedings under the Act and to
(3 of 4) [CMA-2002/2018]

provide her maintenance and support pending disposal of such

proceedings. The only exception for grant of maintenance

pendente lite is that wife has separate means sufficient for her

defence and subsistence. In the instant case, the respondent

wife, in her application, has stated on oath that she is unemployed

and having no separate means sufficient for her defence and

subsistence. A bare reading of Section 24 of the Act makes it

abundantly clear that it has conferred ample discretion on the

Court to order for maintenance pendente lite and costs of the

proceedings. It goes without saying that any decision under this

Section to the extent of quantum of maintenance depends on facts

and circumstances of an individual case. The language employed

in Section 24 of the Act is so clear and explicit that mere denial of

factum of marriage is no bar to the power of the Court to make an

order for maintenance pendente lite. It is also noteworthy that

application under Section 24 of the Act is ordinarily decided on

affidavits.

Upon perusal of the impugned order, it is abundantly clear

that the learned Court below has objectively considered the

application of respondent supported by her affidavit, while

granting moderate amount of Rs.3,000 per mensem as

maintenance pendente lite. The judgments, relied upon by

learned counsel for the appellant, in my view, are factually

distinguishable, and therefore, I am unable to find any manifest

error in the impugned order warranting interference in exercise of

appellate jurisdiction.

Resultantly, the appeal fails and same is hereby rejected.

(4 of 4) [CMA-2002/2018]

Let record of the case be sent back to learned Court below.

The learned Court below is requested to expedite trial of the main

petition for divorce, for its prompt disposal.

(P.K. LOHRA),J

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