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Right To Claim Maintenance Must Date Back To Date Of Filing Of Application, Not Date Of Order-Madras High Court

Before delving into the laws and the judgment delivered by the Madras High Court in the case of Mohamed Nisha Banu v. Mohamed Rafi and Ors, let's look at the crux of the case i.e., the issue that deals with the petitioner's right to claim maintenance must date back to the date of filing of the application.

The respondents complotted and brought the petitioner and her kids to Chennai to resume their coexistence to avoid maintenance payments. The petitioner was physically and mentally abused and tortured throughout her two months with the first respondent, and she was forcibly removed from the matrimonial home while the minor children were retained.

Now examining into the laws governing maintenance rights, the date from which maintenance is to be granted is not specified in Article 12 of the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act 2005. However, the provision of section 125 CrPC talks about the interim maintenance.

Specifically, Section 125(2) CrPC also provides for maintenance by the Magistrate from the date of application or from the date of the order and it also mentions the cost of the proceedings should also be paid. On analyzing this section, the maintenance rights shall be based on the date of filling of application, since the period for which maintenance proceedings were pending is not under the applicant's control.

Furthermore, going through the cases that discuss similar circumstances, in the case of Jaminiben Hirenbhai Vyas V. Hirenbhai Rameshchandras Vyas the Supreme Court held that it is implicitly obliged to consider, in view of the relevant facts, making the maintenance order effective from either of its two dates i.e., the date of filing of the application and date of the order. In the matter of maintenance, it is not relevant and congruous that a court can unambiguously state that the maintenance should be paid from the date of order or the date of application.

Moreover, as per Section 354(6) of the CrPC, the Court should record reasons in support of the order it issued, and the purpose of the provision is to prevent homelessness and impoverishment in society, and the Court must apply its plausible mind to the options with regard to the facts of the particular case. Looking over in the case of Rajnesh V. Neha and following an analysis of the provisions of judgments having similar circumstances, the courts gave the necessary guidance to achieve uniformity of the orders passed by all the courts by considering the conflicting positions adopted by different courts.

By interpreting the scenario of the provisions mentioned under CrPC regarding the maintenance, it can be culminated that with due diligence and by examining the facts the court may order that maintenance should be paid from the date of order or the date of application. Even the Supreme Court itself unequivocally ordered maintenance for all Courts from the date of the request.

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