1. This appeal is directed against the order dated the 12th October, 1978, of the Sub Judge 1st Class, Amritsar, whereby he granted maintenance to respondent wife at the rate of Rs. 150/- P. M. from the date of her application under S. 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act (hereinafter to be referred to as the Act) i. e. 27th Feb., 1978 to 25th Sept., 1978, on which date the proceedings under S. 10 of the Act concluded and also awarded Rs. 200/- as expenses of the proceedings. This order has been challenged on the ground that the maintenance under S. 24 of the Act and the expenses towards the proceedings could only be granted during the pendency of the Proceedings and since the main proceedings concluded on 25th Sept., 1978, the trial Court had no jurisdiction to grant interim maintenance and litigation expenses thereafter. In support of the aforesaid submission reliance was placed on a single Bench decision of this Court in Nirmla Devi v. Ram Dass 1972 Cur LJ 34: (AIR 1973 Punj 48). That was a case in which petition for restitution of conjugal rights was filed on 6th Oct., 1969 by the husband and the wife had been served with notice of that petition on 5th Dec., 1969. She filed an application on 14th Jan., 1970, for maintenance under S. 24 of the Act. Thereafter when the case was called on 19th Feb., 1970, the husband absented himself, which led to the dismissal of his petition with costs in default of appearance on the very day. Wife's counsel at that very time requested the Court to pass orders on the wife's petition under Section 24 of the Act, The Court observed that the proceedings having terminated there was no question of passing any order for interim maintenance and that the costs of the litigation, which had been allowed to the wife respondent by the trial Court, could be realised in execution proceedings by bet. Suri J. after referring to two decisions reported in Smt. Hardev Kaur v. Panjrattan Singh (1965) 67 Pun LR 485 and Dr. Tarlochan Singh v. Smt. Mohinder Kaur, AIR 1963 Punj 249, held that the main proceedings having come to an end, it was open to the wife to pursue her normal remedies for having her monthly maintenance allowance granted on a more permanent basis.
2. In that case what weighed with Suri J. was the fact that the appellant in that case i. e. the wife had claimed interim maintenance from the date on which the notice of the main petition had been served on her which was not tenable. The appellant in that case could, if at all, be granted interim maintenance allowance for a period of a little over a month from 14th Jan., 1970 to 19th Feb., 1970.
3. The facts of Nirmla Devi's case (AIR 1973 Punj 48) (supra) are clearly distinguishable. In the present case the wife applied for interim maintenance and litigation expenses on 27th Feb., 1978. The trial Court did not pass any order thereon till 25th Sept., 1978, the date on which the main proceedings concluded and decided it only in October, 1978. For no fault of the wife, her petition under S. 24 of the Act remained pending for 6/7 months. If the view is that the provisions of S. 24 of the Act were intended by the legislature to enable the indigent spouse to secure wherewithal to defend the proceedings against oneself and to maintain oneself during the pendency of the proceedings, then it is incumbent upon the Courts to take an immediate decision upon the petition under S. 24 of the Act, otherwise the delay would defeat the very purpose. Otherwise in a case where the Court delays the decision on the application till the fag-end of the trial of the main case, right to maintenance and litigation expenses would 'be denied to the applicant on the specious argument that she had been able to prosecute the litigation for all that long period and had survived and so she was not entitled to favourable order on her application, for the litigation expenses and the interim maintenance under S. 24 of the Act was intended merely to meet the contingency of an indigent spouse not being able to prosecute the case and survive during the pendency of the proceedings which contingency would no longer exist when the proceedings had reached the stage of conclusion though not finally concluded.
4. I do not think that the interim maintenance and litigation expenses could be denied to the applicant on such a ground when the application had been filed during the pendency of the main proceedings and it is the court which delayed its decision thereon. If the relief could not be denied in the above situation t a surely the applicant would not be denied the same relief even after the conclusion of the main petition.
5. It would also be not correct to say that such an order would be an ineffective order. The order in my opinion would be perfectly effective order as the same can be executed like a decree and the amount in question realised as such.
6. For the reasons stated above, I find no merit in this revision and the same is dismissed with costs.
7. Petition dismissed.