Satya Prakash
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 4

The right to claim maintenance under all enactments, including those under Section 125 of the CrPC, must date back to filing of the application, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

“Financial constraints of a dependent spouse hamper their capacity to be effectively represented before the court. In order to prevent a dependant from being reduced to destitution, it is necessary that maintenance is awarded from the date on which the application for maintenance is led before the court concerned,” a Bench headed by Justice Indu Malhotra said.

“The delay in adjudication is not only against human rights, but also against the basic embodiment of dignity of an individual,” it said, while deciding a matrimonial case from Maharashtra in which the maintenance of a wife and son under Section 125 of the CrPC had to be determined.

As courts adopt different judicial yardstick to grant interim maintenance and permanent alimony in matrimonial cases, the SC also laid down guidelines to ensure uniformity in judicial practice in such matters.

The guidelines addressed issues of overlapping jurisdiction, interim maintenance, criteria for determining the quantum of maintenance, date from which maintenance is to be awarded and execution of orders of maintenance.

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