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The Madhya Pradesh High Court holds that no law prevents a wife to claim maintenance under another provision of law if she has already been getting it under one.

Dwarka Prasad Patel v. Smt. Marri


Dwarka Prasad Patel v. Smt. Marri

The husband filed an appeal before the High Court against the order of the lower appellate court which upheld the wife’s contention that the husband and his second wife had in fact trespassed the suit property, which property was given by the husband to the Respondent wife in lieu of maintenance as he had deserted her and started living with another woman.
The Respondent wife had instituted a civil suit for declaration of title and permanent injunction with respect to the suit property which was given in lieu of maintenance as the husband and his second wife had trespassed on it. The trial court dismissed the suit while the lower appellate court allowed the appeal of the respondent wife. Aggrieved by the order reversing the finding of the trial court by the lower appellate court the husband preferred an appeal before the High Court.
The High Court held as under:

“Thus, it is clear that any property possessed by a female Hindu, whether acquired before or after the commencement of the Act, shall be held by her as full owner thereof and not as a limited owner. Therefore, the crux of the matter is that the female should be in possession of land. From plain reading of agreement Ex.P/2, it is clear that it was specifically mentioned that the land in dispute is being given to the plaintiff by way of her maintenance. The necessary implication of this recital would be that the possession was also given. Otherwise there was no point in executing an agreement by way of maintenance and thereafter, not giving the land to the plaintiff…Under these circumstances, this Court is of the considered opinion that the provisions of Section 14 of Hindu Succession Act would apply in its full force and by virtue of section 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act, the plaintiff had become the full owner thereof and not a limited owner.”

“The Supreme Court in the case of Rajnesh Vs. Neha and another reported in (2021) 2 SCC 324 has held that if a wife is getting maintenance under one provision of law, then while ascertaining the quantum of maintenance under another provision, the Court shall take into the consideration the maintenance amount which the wife is getting in previously instituted proceeding. There is no law that if a wife is getting maintenance under one provision of law, then she cannot get the maintenance amount at all under another provision of law. Even otherwise that situation would not arise in the present case. The agreement Ex.P/2 was executed on 23.06.1981 whereas the application under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. was filed on 29.04.1998. Thus, it is clear that the plaintiff was getting the maintenance by virtue of a pre-existing agreement.”


Dwarka Prasad Patel v. Smt. Marri


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