‘Family court can award maintenance disregarding creed’
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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.


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

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