April 09, 2019
In this recent case, the High Court of Delhi held that maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC should ordinarily be awarded from the date of application and if it is awarded from the date of order then there should be compelling circumstances and reasons for the same.
Case name: Nisha Saifi v. Mohd Shahid
In the present revision petition, the High Court of Delhi was confronted with the issue whether the award of maintenance is to be from the date of the application or from the date of the order? The Trial Court in the case had awarded maintenance to the Petitioner from the date of order without assigning any reasons.
The High Court of Delhi while analyzing the facts and circumstances of the present case and the precedents ruled that maintenance should ordinarily be awarded from the date of application and hence allowed the revision petition. The observations made by the High Court in the case are as under:
- That one has to look at the nature of the maintenance awarded under section 125 Cr.P.C. If the object of section 125 Cr.P.C is to afford subsistence allowance to the wife, who is not able to maintain herself, then the award normally should be from the date of the application.
- That for the Court to award maintenance from the date of the order there have to be compelling circumstances for the court to take such a view.
- It was further noted by the High Court that maintenance awarded to a wife is not a bounty. It is awarded to her so that she can survive. The fact that time is spent between the date of the application and a final adjudication and an award in favour of the wife, does not mean that she had enough funds to maintain herself. When the trial court comes to conclusion that wife is entitled to an award of maintenance, the assessment in fact relates back to the date of the application. When the assessment relates back to the date of the application then there have to be compelling circumstances for the trial court to restrict the award of maintenance to a period post the date of the application.
- In view of the facts of the present case, the High Court noted that the trial court had merely recorded that maintenance is awarded from the date of the order. No reasons have been recorded by the trial court as to why maintenance is being awarded from the date of the order.
Hence, in view of the aforesaid observations, the High Court modified Trial Court’s order and directed the respondent to pay the maintenance amount to the petitioner from the date of the application and clear the entire arrears of maintenance.
The entire case can be accessed here.