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‘Family court can award maintenance disregarding creed’

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 18:22

Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court has
ruled that a family court can award maintenance to women
without discriminating on the basis of caste or creed.

"Even if there is no statutory provision, temporary
injunction may be granted or an order may be passed by the
family court for the payment of maintenance, including cost
of litigation, without discriminating on the basis of caste,
creed or religion," the Lucknow bench stated while dismissing
an appeal filed by one Samaun Khan, challenging the order of
the family court of Faizabad.

The division bench comprising Justices Devi Prasad
Singh and S C Chaurasia while pronouncing the landmark
decision observed that "In case, the wife is suffering from
paucity of funds or is unable to maintain herself or she has
got no sufficient means of livelihood, then, the court, in a
pending suit for restitution of conjugal rights, has got ample
powers to direct for payment of maintenance in pursuance to
the powers conferred by section 151 of the code of Civil
Procedure".

The court said the right to life and livelihood meant
a quality of life suited to the status of the person
concerned.

The appeal filed under section 19 of the Family courts
Act, 1984, involved substantial question of law as to whether
a suit filed by a person belonging to Muslim community for
restitution of conjugal rights, the family court may grant
interim maintenance and cost of litigation.

The counsel for Khan submitted that under the
provision of Muslim Personal Law, the court lacked the
jurisdiction to grant interim maintenance or the cost of
litigation.

Khan had challenged the order of family court,
Faizabad which had directed him to pay maintenance at the rate
of Rs 800 per month and cost of litigation of Rs 5,000 to his
wife Roshni Parveen.

The High Court said the order passed by the family
court did not seem to suffer from any impropriety or
illegality.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 18:22

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