How Maintenance to wife is assessed in S.24 HMA

There are some criteria’s which are set by Indian courts in order to calculate and assess maintenance to be paid by the Husband to wife under S.24 of HMA.

Did you though that Income tax returns are best way to assess the income of the husband well no.

The income tax returns do not reflects true position of income of a party for several reason, and cannot be taken as a sole guide for income of the party in maintenance proceedings.( VD Mehta V. KV mehta, AIR BOM 120).

If wife is taking the support of father and brother then also it is not considered in assessing the quantum of maintenance to be awarded by the court (Radhika Rai V. Sadhu Ram AIR 1970 MP 14).

Regarding cost of litigation

The cost of litigation shall also include what is spent by the applicant for travelling a distance from place of her residence to the court and if woman travels a long journey and require assistance than husband would required to pay the expenses for both the persons.(SD Naik V. DK Naik 1 DMC 112).

Regarding Children

If Children are under the protection of the wife, the court will be justified in taking that circumstances into account in awarding maintenance to the wife.

In Hon’ble Supreme court case in Jasbit Kaur sehgal V. District Judge Dehradun & Ors 1997 SC 3397 has held that no doubt section 24 of HMA talks about maintenance to wife during the pend ency of proceedings but this section cannot be read isolation and cannot be restricted meaning to hold that it is maintenance to the wife alone.

Refusal to pay maintenance

If the husband refuses to pay the maintenance amount then the execution of the order of maintenance is not only one remedy the wife can obtain, but stay on proceedings if initiated by the husband is the right way. Bishoke Kumar dutta choudhary v. Amita Dutta Choudhary. 1982 HINDU LR 525

Quantum of Maintenance

Quantum of maintenance is determined from an estimate of monthly income allowing for uncertainities, total number of dependents including wife and then fixing share of respondent. Radhka Bai V. Sadhuram(AIR 1970 P&H 14)

By Adv. Nitish Banka

nitish@lexspeak.in