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Court said that even in an estranged marriage situation, certain minimum amount must be provided
The Allahabad High Court recently ruled that "so long as a marriage survives, it remains the duty of the earning spouse to protect life, liberty, and dignity of the other".
The bench of Justices Saumitra Dayal Singh and Rajendra Kumar said that even in an estranged marriage situation, certain minimum amount has to be provided by the earning party to ensure protection of life, liberty and dignity of the other.
The court was dealing with an appeal filed by a man against the order passed by the Family Court in February this year under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 directing him to provide interim maintenance to his estranged wife at Rs 7,000 per month from November 2021 i.e. when she filed the application for maintenance.
The high court observed that the man had submitted documentary evidence indicating his current year's salary not exceeding Rs. 16,500, whereas in the previous years, it was Rs. 15,470.
To this, while noting that there were no children born from the marriage, the division bench expressed the view that the Family Court's decision to allocate almost 50% of the man's total monthly income for interim maintenance seemed incorrect.
However, the court, acknowledging the necessity of providing a minimum sum to the wife, issued an order directing the husband to pay Rs 5,000 as interim maintenance to his estranged wife from the date she filed her application.
Moreover, court asked the court below to ensure that the proceedings instituted by the husband are concluded as expeditiously as possible, preferably on or before 31 January 2024.
Case Title: Santosh Kumar v. Gayatri Devi
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