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Family Law Synopsis

Topic Name- Concept of Maintenance under Hindu Law



What is Maintenance?
The concept of maintenance in India is covered both under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973 (Section 125) and the personal laws. This concept further stems from Article
15(3) reinforced by Article 39 of the Constitution of India, 1950 (the 'Constitution'). Under Indian
law, the term maintenance includes an entitlement to food, clothing and shelter, being typically
available to the wife, children and parents. It is a measure of social justice and an outcome of the
natural duty of a man to maintain his wife, children and parents, when they are unable to maintain
themselves1. The object of maintenance is to prevent immorality and destitution and ameliorate
the economic condition of women and children.
Maintenance can be claimed under the respective personal laws of people following different
faiths and proceedings under such personal laws are civil in nature. For the purpose of this
project, the author will be dealing with the Hindu personal law and its respective sections i.e. s. 24
and 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955. Now, maintenance can be divided into 1.

Interim maintenance or maintenance pendente lite and


Permanent alimony and maintenance

Section 24 of HMA deals with maintenance pendente lite and Section 25 of HMA deals with
permanent maintenance and alimony.

Under S.24 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA), either the wife or husband can apply for interim
maintenance. The basis of the claim for interim maintenance is that the claimant has no
independent income of his/her own to support himself/herself. The provision is silent on the
quantum of maintenance and it is upon the discretion of the court to determine the quantum.
Similarly, maintenance pendente lite is to be provided to the claimant who does not have an

Savitaben Somabhai Bhatiya v State of Gujarat and Others (2005)

independent income and the financial need of litigation expenses has to be provided by the other
The obligation of the husband to maintain his wife does not arise out of any contract but out of the
status of the marriage. The wife should be a lawfully wedded wife. However, as far as getting
maintenance under HMA is concerned, the courts have granted maintenance under sections 24
and 25 of HMA to wives of void or bigamous marriages.



To prepare a project for analyzing and discussing the concerned sections of the respective
legislation. The project aims to recognize its flaws, if any, and to appreciate its purpose along with
its objective(s) in light of a transforming Indian society. It also aims to bring to light the recent
developments, judicial or otherwise and to try and analyze it from distinct and diverse point of
views. The project will examine the conditions necessary for claiming maintenance and the cases
in which exceptions have been made by the court. It will also list the entities NOT entitled to
receive maintenance under s. 24 and 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955.




Methodology in the making of this Project will be Doctrinal Research

This Methodology will be best suited for the Topic of the Project. A detailed study of the
provisions related to maintenance in the Hindu Marriage Act,1955 will be done and analysis and
conclusions have been made in order to recognize its flaws, if any, and to appreciate its purpose
along with its objective(s) in light of a transforming Indian society.



Following are the tentative division of chapters of the project. Besides the above tentative
chapters, there may be some headings incorporated within the each chapter.

This chapter will provide a brief introduction to the concept of maintenance in Hindu Law
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and talk about the developments made in the same over time.

An Analysis of Section 24 of HMA 1955.

This chapter will deal with the Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 in detail,
which provides for Interim maintenance or maintenance pendente lite.

An Analysis of Section 25 of HMA 1955.

This chapter will deal with the Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955 in detail which
provides for Permanent alimony and maintenance.

Landmark judgments & Case studies.

This chapter will provide some of the leading cases in the matter. The main legal points
regarding to the subject matter of this paper and their relevance will be discussed in brief.

The shortcomings & flaws of the provisions, if any.

This chapter will be dealing with the repercussions related to the concept of maintenance
and any shortcomings/flaws, which have been noticed in their application by the courts
over time.

Positive aspects and Effects

This chapter as the title suggests will be discussing the positive and not-so positive effects
and upshots of the concept of maintenance.

This chapter will conclude the observations and inferences, which were made by the
author through this report.



Naseem Akhtar, Family Law on Divorce and Judicial Separation, Deep and Deep
Publications, Jan 2003 Edition.

Paras Diwan, Family Law, 2009 Edition Reprint 2012.

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Desai Kumud, Indian Law of Marriage and Divorce, 2008 Edition.

SCCOnline, http://www.scconline.co.in/

Manupatra, http://www.manupatrafast.in/

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