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Supreme Court Issues Guidelines On Payment Of Maintenance In Matrimonial Matters

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In a significant, judgment, the Supreme Court has issued guidelines on payment of maintenance in matrimonial matters. The bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and R. Subhash Reddy held that maintenance in all cases will be granted from the date of filing the application for maintenance.

“For enforcement/execution of orders of maintenance, it is directed that order or decree of maintenance may be enforced under Section 28A of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1956; Section 20(6) of the D.V. Act; and Section 128 of Cr.P.C., as may be applicable. The order of maintenance may be enforced as a money decree of a civil court as per the provisions of the CPC, more particularly Sections 51, 55, 58, 60 r.w. Order XXI”, the court held.

On the issue of jurisdiction, the bench held thus: 

(i) where successive claims for maintenance are made by a party under different statutes, the Court would consider an adjustment or setoff, of the amount awarded in the previous proceeding/s, while determining whether any further amount is to be awarded in the subsequent proceeding;while determining whether any further amount is to be awarded in the subsequent proceeding;

(ii) it is made mandatory for the applicant to disclose the previous proceeding and the orders passed therein, in the subsequent proceeding;

(iii) if the order passed in the previous proceeding/s requires any modification or variation, it would be required to be done in the same proceeding.

The court said that for payment of Interim Maintenance, the Affidavit of Disclosure of Assets and Liabilities shall be filed by both parties in all maintenance proceedings, including pending proceedings before the concerned Family Court / District Court / Magistrates Court, as the case may be, throughout the country.judgement download