Swatanter Kumar, J.
1. In this petition under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Mrs. Anuradha applicant herein has claimed maintenance pendentelite at the rate of Rs: 4,000/- and Rs. 11,000/- as litigation expenses. The facts are that Mr. Rajesh had filed a petition under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act for dissolution of his marriage with Smt. Anuradha on the ground of cruelty and dissolution. The learned Trial Court vide detailed judgment dated 15.2.1997 dismissed the petition for divorce filed by the husband with costs. Against this judgment and decree the husband preferred an appeal before this Court which had been admitted to regular hearing.
2. During the pendency of this appeal on 20.11.1997 present application for interim maintenance has been filed by the wife. The allegations in the application are that the husband is an Engineer employed in the All India Radio, New Delhi. He was getting salary of Rs. 11,000/- per month before revision of pay scales as awarded by the 5th Pay Commission. Now his salary is nearly Rs. 15,000/- per month. Mrs. Anuradha is stated to have no independent source of income.
3. In reply to this application the factum of employment is admitted. However, the amount received by the husband as salary has been disputed. It is averred that under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a monthly maintenance of Rs. 300/- was awarded to the wife, which she has not disclosed in the present petition. The application is stated to be misconceived and liable to be rejected.
4. I have heard the learned Counsel for the parties at some length. The undisputed facts are that the petitioner is an Engineer and is employed in the All India Radio, C.B.S. New Delhi. Nothing has been placed on record to show that wife is earning or has any other independent source of income to make her ends meet and live a descent life. During the course of arguments, the learned Counsel for the husband placed the salary slip for the month of November, 1997 on record. According to this the petitioner is receiving total emoluments of Rs. 9,489/-. Deductions are shown to be Rs. 5,060/-. Net salary is Rs. 4,429/-. The husband is maintaining the children born from this marriage and his old parents.
5. It needs to be noticed that the petitioner is getting a provident fund deduction of Rs.' 2,975/- every month in addition to re-payment of general provident fund advance loan taken by him to the extent of Rs. 2,000/- per month. The amount which is being deducted towards the general provident fund of the petitioner i.e. Rs. 2,975/- is primarily a saving of the petitioner-husband and cannot be said to be a compulsory deduction. The wife would be entitled to if not exactly the same income and status of living which she would have enjoyed if living with the husband, but it must fall somewhere within the reasonable limit thereof. May be the husband is bringing up the children, that in any case does not absolve him of his obligation to maintain his wife. The entire matter must be looked into pregmatically and the basic needs of minimum standard of life, which the wife would be entitled to even while staying separate from her husband, specially when her such claim for maintenance is not hit by any law or prohibition.
6. The claim for divorce of the petitioner-husband has not been accepted by the Trial Court. Therefore, no inference adverse to that of the interests of the wife can be drawn at this stage. The petitioner is a Government servant and would be entitled to the benefits available to such a servant in addition to the medical allowances reimbursement, etc. In these circumstances, the wife cannot be left at the mercy of the parents when the husband is well placed. This pay scale slip, which has been placed on record is admittedly pre-revised scale and the petitioner's income is bound to considerably rise upon the benefit accruing from the revised scales. In these circumstances, wife must be provided reasonable amount of maintenance which would be sufficient to give her a respectable life and she is not looked or given the treatment of a rejected person socially and financially. In this regard reference can be made to the following observations of a judgment of this Court in the case of Dr. R.K. Sood v. Smt. Usha Sood, (1996-3) 114 PLR 486 :
'Hindu Marriage is not yet looked at or recognised in our society and law, as a pure and simple contract like other contracts. This bond is considered more as religious, moral and social bond of mutual duties and obligations giving marriage a religious and meaningful basis keeping in view the rituals performed at the marriage and consequent solemnization of marriage be- tween the parties.
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It is equally settled principle of law that the property of, the parties, their income and the status of the parties has to be considered including the family property for the purposes of determining the actual benefit of maintenance which should be awarded specially to the children keeping in view their welfare.'
7. The scheme of the provisions of Hindu Marriage Act clearly shows the legislative intent to protect the interests of the spouse in the event of matrimonial dispute. A spouse unable to maintain himself /herself is entitled to maintenance on the principle of equi-status and respect, that the spouse would have enjoyed if continued to live with the other spouse. The provisions for maintenance pendente lite and even for future maintenance at the time of dissolution of marriage are indicative of a profound concern of the law makers for the said spouse and respect for the institution of marriage. Nothing has been brought on record which could reflect that there could be any plausible reason or justification for declining maintenance claimed by the wife may be the extent of the claim is a matter to be considered. It has been sufficiently shown on record at least prima facie that the income of the husband presently is Rs. 10,000/-which already has increased in view of the5th Pay Commission's recommendations. There is also nothing on record to show that the wife is earning or has an independent source of income.
8. To make her both ends meet; to avoid the possibility of her being a total dependent on others; to withstand the realities of human life and to prevent the withering away, in the prolonged rounds of litigation, that the wife should be awarded atleast a sum of Rs. 1,200/- per month as maintenance pendente lite and Rs. 3,000/- on account of litigation expenses. Therefore, this petition is allowed to the above extent.