Ramya is working as a teacher in a Government school. Her husband who is unemployed filed a suit for maintenance against his wife. Is she liable?
Section 18 to 28 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956 provides for the maintenance of wife, widowed daughter in law, daughter, children, aged parents and dependants like minors, etc.
The list of dependants does not include a man if he is a major. The wife need not maintain the husband as he is a major. But as per Sec 24 and 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, pendente lite and permanent alimony can be granted to a husband who has no independent income on his own.
If the wife or husband has no independent income sufficient to support her or him and to meet the expense of the divorce proceedings, the husband or wife can ask for maintenance. The Court may award the maintenance amount to the suffering party either in monthly installments or in lump till the proceedings are cancelled.
This is called Pendente lite meaning “amount ordered to be paid” to meet the expenses of the proceedings. Maintenance granted under this Section is not a bar for granting maintenance under Sec. 125 of Cr.P.C.