2006(3) ALL MR (JOURNAL) 31


Akella Rama Murthy S/O A. Thimmaya Shastry Vs. Akella Sitalaxmi W/O A. Rama Murthy

Civil Revision Petition No.2074 of 2005

19th July, 2005

Petitioner Counsel: A. V. SESHA SAI
Respondent Counsel: SHYAM S. AGRAWAL

Hindu Marriage Act (1955), S.24 - Maintenance - Claim for children - Right to claim maintenance is conferred only on husband or wife - It is impermissible to grant maintenance to children of the parties - Their remedy is under S.125 of Cr.P.C. and Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act. (Para 7)


JUDGMENT :- The petitioner is the husband of the respondent. The relations between them are strained. The respondent filed O.P. No.91 of 1999, in the Family Court, Secunderabad, and obtained a decree for judicial separation. Thereafter, the petitioner filed O.P. No.534 of 2002, in the Family Court, Visakhapatnam, for divorce, against the respondent. On a transfer C.M.P. filed by the respondent, the O.P. was transferred to the Family Court, Hyderabad, and renumbered as O.P. No.369 of 2004.

2. After the O.P. was transferred, the respondent filed I.A. No.1154 of 2004, under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (for short "the Act"), claiming maintenance, at the rate of Rs.6,000/- per month, for her girl child. Through its order dated 28-01-2005, the Family Court awarded a sum of Rs.2,000/- per month, as maintenance, for tile the child. The same is challenged in this C.R.P.

3. Sri A. V. Sesha Sai, learned counsel for the petitioner, submits that Section 24 of the Act provides for grant of maintenance, in favour of the wife or husband, as the case may be, in the proceedings initiated under the Act, and it is impermissible for a Court to grant any maintenance to third parties, including the children of the spouses. He contends that the order is absolutely without jurisdiction.

4. Sri Shyam S. Agrawal, learned counsel for the respondent, on the other hand, submits that though in the application it was stated that the amount is required for the maintenance of the child, in a way, it can be treated as the expenditure of the respondent herself.

5. The controversy in this C.R.P. is limited and narrow, viz. whether it is permissible for a Court in the proceedings initiated under Section 13 of the Act, to grant maintenance, for any person other than the spouse.

6. Section 24 of the Act reads as under :

"Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings : Where in any proceedings under this Act it appears to the Court 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 proceeding, it may, on the application of the wife or the husband, order the respondent to pay to the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding, and monthly during the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioner's own income and the income of the respondent, it may seem to the Court to be reasonable.

Provided that the application for the payment of the expenses of the proceeding and such monthly sum during the proceeding, shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within sixty days from the date of service of the notice on the wife or the husband, as the case may be."

7. A bare reading of the provision discloses that the right to claim maintenance is conferred, only on the husband or the wife, as the case may be. In case it is established that they do not have any independent income, sufficient to maintain themselves. Even a liberal interpretation of this provision, does not enable the Court to grant maintenance to any person, other than the wife and husband. It is impermissible to grant maintenance to children of the parties, in the proceedings under the Act. It is not as if there is no provision for this purpose. Section 125, Cr.P.C. and the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act provide for grant of maintenance for the children also. In that view of the matter, the order under revision cannot be sustained. It is, however, made clear that it shall be open to the respondent, or the minor child in question, to claim maintenance under the provisions of Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, or Section 125, Cr.P.C., as the case may be. There shall be no order as to costs.

Order accordingly.