Del HC | Maintenance under S. 125 CrPC to be ordinarily awarded from date of application; award from date of order is exception

Delhi High Court: Sanjeev Sachdeva, J., modified the trial court’s order awarding maintenance to the petitioner-wife and directed the respondent-husband to the pay the maintenance from the date of filing of the application under Section 125 CrPC.

The petitioner impugned the trial court’s order whereby maintenance of Rs 4,000 per month was awarded to her. It is pertinent to note that by the impugned order, the respondent was directed to pay maintenance from the date of the order. Nitin Rai Sharma and Sanjeet, Advocates for the petitioner submitted that the trial court erred in note awarding maintenance from the date of filing of the application.

After discussing the nature of maintenance awarded under Section 125 CrPC, the High Court relied on Shail Kumari Devi v. Krishan Bhagwan Pathak, (2008) 9 SCC 632 and Jaiminiben Hirenbhai Vyas v. Hirenbhai Ramesh Chandra Vyas, (2015) 2 SCC 385, and observed: “When the trial court comes to the conclusion that the 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.” Noting that the trial court did not record any reason to award maintenance from the date of the order, the High Court modified the impugned order and directed the respondent to pay the maintenance from the date of the application filed by the petitioner. [Nisha Saifi v. Mohd. Shahid, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 7902, decided on 03-04-2019]

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