Facts of the case
The respondent and appellant are a married couple with two kids. The appellant moved in with her mother in Nanded as a result of a marriage conflict. The husband claimed that his wife had been cruel to him and his family in his divorce petition to the Family Court in Akola. In accordance with section 24 of the HMA, the wife requested maintenance pendente lite while contesting the accusations.
Three of the hearings were without the appellant. The family court awarded the divorce decision without the husband being subjected to cross-examination. The wife appealed to the High Court on the grounds that the divorce petition's trial code decision was made without taking into account her request for support.
The appellant's attorney, Shilpa Tapadiya, argued that the trial court should have taken into account the fact that the appellant is a resident of Nanded and was compelled to appear in the case in Akola. Her claim for maintenance pendente lite should have been approved because she must support two children. She was not given a fair chance to present her position during the divorce proceeding.
According to the husband's attorney, Ravikumar Tiwari, the wife had ample opportunity to present and cross-examine the respondent but chose not to do so. The family court therefore continued with the case.
Justice Urmila Joshi Phalke set aside the divorce judgement stating that in a family appeal brought by a woman against a divorce decree that had been granted by the trial court without considering her support request,
The court ruled that section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA) is a kind and gender-neutral provision that pays for maintenance and court costs for a spouse who lacks an independent source of income while the case is pending.