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CITATION2000 (2) SCR 621(2000) 4SCC 266
CASE TYPEAppeal (civil)  2462 of 1999


In this case “ Padmja Sharmav. Ratan Lal Sharma, AIR 2000 SC 1398 ”re-established the meaning of the term ‘ maintenance ’ as  handed in Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, while applying the same with reference to the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The Court also observed that the  conservation of a minor child is the  duty of both the parents in proportion to their  profit,  especially if the mother is also well-  out financially. The  present-day composition is a case analysis of the  forenamed case. 


  1. Marriage was solemnised in accordance with Hindu  solemnities on2-5-1983 between Padmja Sharma and Ratan Lal Sharma. They had two sons out of this marriage. The first child, a son, was born on 27-1-1984 and the alternate child, also a son, was born on 28-6-1985.
  2. The  woman filed a  solicitation for dissolution of marriage on 21-5-1990. She also appealed  therein for return of her ” streedhan”,  guardianship and  custodianship of the children and also for their maintenance. At the same time she also filed an application under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure( Code). 
  3. On2-8-1991, the  woman filed a  plea under Section 26 of the Act in the Family Court claiming maintenance@ Rs 2575 per month for both the children. In the affidavit supporting the application, however, maintenance was claimed@ Rs 2500 per month for both the children and also  handed the information of hubby  payment of Rs 6233.40 per month. The  woman also claimed a sum of Rs 1585 as admission  figure in  seminaries for the children and Rs 5000 as action charges.   The Family Court by order dated 7-4-1992 granted  conservation under Section 125 of the law@ Rs 250 per month for each child. On 30-4-1992 the Family Court awarded a  further sum of Rs 250 per month for each child as interim  conservation under Section 26 of the Act. The Family Court also framed issues relating to the  guardianship,  custodianship and  conservation of the minor children and also regarding” streedhan”. 
  4.  Wife also file several  applications on 27-10-1995 and 26-8-1997 U/ S 26 of the act for the  differences in the  conservation given by family court as there is  increment in the  salary of the husband.
  5.  The Family Court by order dated 13-9-1997 combined both the proceedings- one under Section 13 of the Act for dissolution of the marriage and the other under Section 26 of the Act. On4-10-1997 the Family Court granted a decree of divorce in favour of the  woman dissolving the marriage between her and the replier. Against the claim of Rs towards” streedhan” the Family Court granted a decree of Rs as cost of the  papers whose prayer was granted in the  volition if the replier didn’t return the  streedhan mentioned by the  woman in her  application. It was also ordered that both the children, till they attained  maturity, should be in the  guardianship of the  mama , the complainant, and  maintenance for each of the children was awarded@ Rs 500 per month from 4-10-1997. A sum of Rs 1000 was awarded as the cost of the litigation to the  woman. 
  6. The  wife took the matter to the High Court seeking an enhanced  quantum of  maintenance of the children and a decree for the full  quantum of Rs. 1,80,000. The High Court, by its impugned judgment, enhanced  maintenance of the children from Rs 500 per month to Rs 1000 per month. The High Court observed,  however in our view not  rightly, that” it is an  peremptory liability on the part of the father to bear the cost of education and the  conservation charges for the two children.”. The High Court also observed that the replier was” actually employed in a responsible position in the Reserve Bank of India while the appellant  woman is a Lecturer in a government  council in Rajasthan. 
  7. The High Court rejected the prayer of the  woman For  improvement of any  amount from Rs 1,00,000. The High Court made certain directions for the hubby to meet the children and with that we aren’t concerned. The High Court disposed of the appeal without any order as to costs.
  8.  Still the  woman Felt displeased and sought leave to appeal to this Court under Composition 136 of the Constitution. By an interim order passed on 22-2-1999 it was directed by this Court that by way of interim relief  conservation for each of the children be paid@ Rs 1500 per month by the replier hubby hubby. 


  1. Whether the petition for the revision of maintenance under Section 26 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 is maintainable before the Supreme Court Of India or not?
  2. Whether the father is the only parent responsible for the maintenance of his child?


  1. That she had been  subordinated to harassment persistently by the hubby( replier) in delaying the trial before the Family Court.
  2.  With the increment in the  packet of husband with passage of time the fees and prices of various goods significantly increased so maintenance should also be increased. 


  1. That the hubby had a grievance that he was  unfit to  gain legal representation in the Family Court, despite the fact that the  wife was represented by her father, who’s also a  counsel, and that while her father argued in the court, she remained silent. 


  1.   As after issuing several notices to the hubby indeed though the hubby didn’t appear before the court the Court heard the arguments of the  woman Ex parte. The court held that this court isn’t an applicable court for  improvement of  conservation U/ S 26 of HMA, 1955 and directed the complainant to approach the family court again and observed that the decree passed there under is always subject to  revision.
  2. Courts go through the Hindu Abdications and conservation Act, 1956( for short “ the conservation Act ”) to understand the meaning of “  conservation ”. In clause( b) of Section 3 of this Act “  conservation includes( i) in all cases, provision for food, apparel,  hearthstone,- education and medical attendance and treatment;( ii) in the case of an  unattached son also the reasonable charges of and incident to her marriage; ” and under clause( c) ‘ minor ’ means a person who has not completed his or her age of eighteen times.
  3. In the case where both parents are employed  also the both parents are bound to contribute for the  conservation of their children in that proportion of their  separate  hires.
  4.  Held that a sum of Rs 3000 per month for each of the children would be sufficient to maintain them, which shall be borne by both the parents in the proportion of 21. Replier shall pay a sum of Rs 2000 per month for each of the two children  forenamed from 4-10-1997, the date of the order of the Family Court. The replier shall be entitled to make  adaptations to the  quantities which he has  formerly paid under orders of the Family Court, the High Court or the interim order of this Court.


The reasoning of the court for both issues is well explained in the view point of law. As the  solicitation U/ S 26 of HMA, 1955 isn’t  justifiable before the court and if the both parents are employed  also it’s the duty of both to maintain their children. So, the appeal is  incompletely allowed by the honorable Court which is rational. 


  1. https://www.casemine.com/judgement/in/5609ad6ae4b014971141158d 
  2. https://www.casemine.com/judgement/in/56090b11e4b0149711173bc9 

This Article is Author by ROHIT ATTRI PUPIL OF KURUKSHETRA UNIVERSITY KURUKSHETRA; Legal Research Intern at Legal Vidhiya.


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