SC Sets Aside Family Court Order Awarding 15 lakhs as Permanent Alimony to Wife


April 18, 2018

Case name: Jalendra Padhiary v. Pragati Chhotray


Date of Judgement: April 17, 2018

In this case, the Supreme Court has taken a strong note of permanent alimony of Rs. 15, 00,000/- awarded to the respondent wife by the Family Court which was subsequently afformed by the Division Bench of the High Court.

Thus, the dispute in the instant case pertained to the award of permanent alimony payable to wife. The Family Court in the case had passed a decree of divorce and the appellant husband to pay permanent alimony of Rs.15, 00,000/- and litigation expenses of Rs.10, 000/- to the respondent (wife).

Thus, the seminal issue that fell for consideration for the Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court was whether the award of permanent alimony of Rs.15, 00,000/- by the Family Court to the respondent (wife) was legally and factually sustainable?

The Supreme Court in the case eventually set aside the impugned order of award of permanent alimony and remanded the case to the Family Court for deciding the question of grant of permanent alimony payable to wife afresh on merits in accordance with law.

The Court in the case made the following observations:

  • That the Lower Courts failed to apply their judicial mind to the factual and legal controversy insofar as award of permanent alimony to the respondent (wife) is concerned.
  • That both the Courts did not even mention the factual narration of the case set up by the parties on the question of award of permanent alimony and without there being any discussion, appreciation, reasoning and categorical findings on the material issues such as, financial earning capacity of husband to pay the alimony and also the financial earning capacity of wife, a direction to pay Rs.15, 00,000/- by way of permanent alimony to the wife was given.
  • The Bench stated that the Courts the need to pass reasoned order in every case, which must contain the narration of the bare facts of the case of the parties to the lis, the issues arising in the case, the submissions urged by the parties, the legal principles applicable to the issues involved and the reasons in support of the findings recorded based on appreciation of evidence on all the material issues arising in the case.
  • While setting aside the impugned order, the Court noted that such orders undoubtedly cause prejudice to the parties and in this case, caused prejudice to the appellant (husband) because the orders of the High Court and Family Court deprived him to know the reasons for fixing the permanent alimony amount of Rs.15, 00,000/- payable to his wife.

The entire case can be accessed here.

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