Supreme Court lays down maintenance rules(Alimony)

The Supreme Court in a judgment ruled that wives and minor children will now be able to receive maintenance from the date of filing an application for maintenance.

The Judgement ensured uniformity of grant of maintenance available under various legislations as well as filling a gap that existed in the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) as well as Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (HAMA) which did not specify when maintenance order would be enforceable.

The Court laid down guidelines for determining the quantum of interim maintenance to be awarded during the pendency of matrimonial matters. This will lead to determining the amount of maintenance to be paid. In the payment of interim maintenance, the court has decided that disclosure of assets and liabilities should be filed by both parties. This precondition should be uniform throughout the country for all courts.

The issue of overlapping jurisdiction the top court ruled that it can be handled through some methods. For example, in cases of successive claims for maintenance, coming in under different statutes, courts will have to adjust or set off the amount awarded in a previous proceeding. The next award of maintenance, thus, will account for past awards.For this, full disclosure of past awards from another court or the same court will have to be made by the parties.

All such orders would be executed U/S 28A of the Hindu Marriage Act, Section 20(6) of the Domestic Violence Act or Section 128 of CrPC.


The original Constitution of 1950 envisaged a Supreme Court with a Chief Justice and 7 puisne Judges – leaving it to Parliament to increase this number

The Supreme Court of India comprises the Chief Justice and other Judges appointed by the President of India. Supreme Court Judges retire upon attaining the age of 65 years.

In order to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court, a person must be a citizen of India and must have been, for at least five years, a Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession, or an Advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession for at least 10 years or he must be, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist.

A Judge of the Supreme Court cannot be removed from office except by an order of the President passed after an address in each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of members present and voting, and presented to the President in the same Session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.