HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
D.B. Civil Misc. Appeal No. 395/2018
Vaibhav Kumar S/o Sh. Devendra Sikarwar, By Caste Koli,
Resident Of G-277, Paldi Road, Subhash Nagar, District Bhilwara.
1. Smt. Kamlesh W/o Shri Vaibhav Sikarwar D/o Shri
Shannu Lal Verma,
2. Kovid S/o Shri Vaibhav Sikarwar, Minor Through His
Natural Guardian Mother Smt. Kamlesh, Respondent No.
1., Both Resident Of Koli Mohalla, Outside B Narayan Gate
Police Station Mathura Gate, Circular Road, Bharatpur.
For Appellant(s) : Mr. T.R.S.Sodha
For Respondent(s) : Mr. N.K.Dadhich with Mr.
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANGEET LODHA
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE DINESH MEHTA
1. This appeal is directed against order dated 12.1.18 of Judge,
Family Court, Bhilwara, allowing an application preferred under
Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (for short “the Act’) by the
respondents herein, has been allowed and the appellant (husband)
has been directed to pay maintenance pendente lite and litigation
expenses to the respondent (wife).
2. The appellant filed a petition against the respondent under
Section 13 of the Act, seeking decree of divorce on the ground of
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desertion and cruelty, which is pending trial before the Family
Court, Bhilwara. During the pendency of the petition, the
respondent-wife filed an application under Section 24 of the Act
claiming maintenance pendente lite and the litigation expenses.
The respondent claimed maintenance pendente lite Rs.30,000/-
per month, the litigation expenses Rs.20,000/- and Rs.5,000/-
towards the to and fro expenses to attend each date of hearing.
3. After due consideration, the Family Court awarded
Rs.15,000/- per month as maintenance pendente lite
( Rs.10,000/- per month for the respondent-wife and Rs.5,000/-
for the minor child), litigation expenses Rs.20,000/- in lump sum
and Rs.2500/- towards to and fro expenes to attend each date of
4. Learned counsel appearing for the appellant contended that
the order impugned passed by the Family Court is illegal and
arbitrary inasmuch as, the same has been passed without there
being any proof regarding the income of the appellant. Learned
counsel submitted that as a matter of fact, the appellant is
unemployed and has no source of income. It is submitted that the
order impugned passed by the Family Court is cryptic inasmuch
as, it does not disclose any reason for the conclusion arrived at.
Learned counsel submitted that award of maintenance
Rs.15,000/- per month is highly excessive and therefore, the
order impugned deserves to be set aside. It is submitted that
while passing the order impugned, the Family Court has altogether
ignored the sources of income of the respondent.
5. On the other hand, the counsel for the respondent submitted
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that a bare perusal of the order impugned reveals that all the
relevant aspects have been taken into consideration by the Family
Court and in no manner, the order passed could be said to be
cryptic so as to warrant interference by this court. Learned
counsel submitted that the respondent-wife has responsibility to
upbring the minor child and therefore, taking into consideration
the various sources of income of the appellant, maintenance of
Rs.15,000/- awarded cannot be said to be excessive. It is
submitted that amount of litigation expenses and to and fro
expenses for attending the date of hearing also cannot be said to
6. We have considered the rival submissions and perused the
material on record.
7. A bare perusal of the provisions of Section 24 of the Act
makes it abundantly clear 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 proceedings may
apply for interim maintenance and while determining the
maintenance pendente lite and expenses of the proceedings, the
court shall have regard to the petitioner’s own income and the
income of the respondent. The purpose behind Section 24 of the
Act is to provide necessary financial assistance to the party to the
matrimonial dispute who has no sufficient means to maintain
himself/herself 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
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of the income to maintain at the level of social status of other
spouse. No hard and fast rule can be laid down for determining
the amount of maintenance pendente lite. Suffice it to say that u/s
24, the vast discretion is vested with the court to award
maintenance which has to be exercised reasonably and judicially.
8. In the backdrop of position of law discussed as above,
adverting to the facts of the present case, there is nothing on
record suggesting that the respondent-wife has her own source of
income. It is not disputed before this court that the appellant is
qualified Diesel Mechanic and Lab Technician. The respondent
claimed that the appellant was earning Rs. 22,000/- as salary
while doing the job in a Nursing Home. That apart, he is also
doing job as Accountant in Four Lane Construction Company and
earning Rs.25,000/- per month. It is true that there was no
concrete proof placed on record to prove the income of the
appellant and the income of the appellant as quantified by the
respondent may be in the higher side but, looking to the job
wherein the appellant is engaged, he must be earning a
reasonable income. Thus, on the facts and in the circumstances of
the case, in our considered opinion, the maintenance awarded in
favour of the respondent-wife as Rs.10,000/- per month appears
to be in little higher side and therefore, we consider it appropriate
to reduce the same from Rs.10,000/- per month to Rs.7500/- per
month. We are not inclined to interfere with the amount of
maintenance determined for the minor child by the Family Court.
Keeping in view the expenditure to be incurred by the respondent
for legal assistance, lump sum amount of Rs.20,000/- awarded by
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the Family Court cannot be said to be excessive. It is not disputed
that for attending the date of hearing, the respondent alongwith
minor child has to travel to Bharatpur which is a place far away
from Bhilwara where the respondent is presently residing and
therefore, amount of Rs.2,500/- determined by the Family Court
towards ‘to and fro’ and other expenses to be incurred by the
respondent while attending each date of hearing, also cannot be
said to be excessive.
9. In the result, the appeal is partly allowed. The respondent
no.1 shall be entitled for maintenance pendente lite a sum of Rs.
7,500/- per month instead of Rs.10,000/- as determined by the
Family Court. The order passed by the Family Court awarding
maintenance for the minor child, the litigation expenses and to
and fro and other expenses for attending each date of hearing
shall remain unaltered. The order passed by the Family Court shall
stand modified accordingly. No order as to costs.
(DINESH MEHTA),J (SANGEET LODHA),J
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