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R. Swaminathan Vs. Annammal Alias Srimathi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily;Civil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1971)1MLJ234
AppellantR. Swaminathan
RespondentAnnammal Alias Srimathi
Cases ReferredSheila Rani v. Durga Prasad
Excerpt:
- - it is now well-settled that arrears of past maintenance are attachable and the sole question for consideration is whether the sum now in deposit represents the right to future maintenance or arrears of past maintenance......the hindu marriage act was for a direction that her husband should deposit some sums towards her future maintenance during the proceedings and also for expenses likely to be incurred by her for opposing the application. the trial court negatived her claim. but, as i have already pointed out, the district judge of coimbatore, the appellate court, had allowed the application and a sum of rs. 1,700 had been deposited by the respondent's husband. it is possible that, out of a sum of rs. 1,700, a small amount was payable towards costs of proceedings; but, in the absence of any evidence at this stage as to the amount which the respondent's husband had deposited towards the costs of proceedings, i will proceed on the footing that the entire amount had been deposited by the respondent's.....
Judgment:

G. Ganesan, J.

1. The appellant is the stepson of the respondent Annammal and he is aggrieved that the executing Court had held that he is not entitled, by virtue of the provisions of Section 60(n) of the Civil Procedure Code, to attach any part of the sum of Rs. 1,700 deposited by the respondent's husband in pursuance of an order made by the District Court of Coimbatore in C.M.A. No. 106 of 1963 passed on an application filed by the respondent under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, for maintenance during the pendency of the judicial separation proceedings instituted by her husband against her.

2. The application filed by the respondent under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act was for a direction that her husband should deposit some sums towards her future maintenance during the proceedings and also for expenses likely to be incurred by her for opposing the application. The trial Court negatived her claim. But, as I have already pointed out, the District Judge of Coimbatore, the appellate Court, had allowed the application and a sum of Rs. 1,700 had been deposited by the respondent's husband. It is possible that, out of a sum of Rs. 1,700, a small amount was payable towards costs of proceedings; but, in the absence of any evidence at this stage as to the amount which the respondent's husband had deposited towards the costs of proceedings, I will proceed on the footing that the entire amount had been deposited by the respondent's husband towards her future maintenance.

3. The learned Counsel for the appellant (the attaching decree-holder) contends that the money deposited by the respondent's husband under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act does not represent any right to future maintenance but only arrears of maintenance. It is now well-settled that arrears of past maintenance are attachable and the sole question for consideration is whether the sum now in deposit represents the right to future maintenance or arrears of past maintenance. Admittedly, the sum still is lying in deposit and had not been drawn by the respondent.

4. The Punjab High Court in Sheila Rani v. Durga Prasad , had taken the view that the sum deposited by the husband into Court by virtue of an order passed by the Magistrate under Section 488, Criminal Procedure Code, and not realised by the wife, is not attachable by virtue of the proviso (n) to Section 60(i); Civil Procedure Code. At page 80, the learned Judge has held:

Where the maintenance has not been realised by the person held entitled to it, it still remains a right of future maintenance and does not become attachable merely because the arrears have not been realised.

5. It may be, technically, difficult to say that the sum now lying in deposit is the right to future maintenance; but the said sum had been deposited by the appellant only towards the future maintenance of the respondent as ordered by the Court on an application by the respondent. It is thus clear that the sum had been deposited for the respondent's future maintenance in view of her statutory right for future maintenance. In my view, the respondent's right to future maintenance had, as a result of the deposit, merely been transformed into cash and the money so deposited will not lose the immunity from attachment merely because of such transformation. The fact that the sum had been deposited will not render the same arrears of past maintenance. The sum was deposited only towards future maintenance and cannot be treated as arrears of past maintenance, merely because it had been lying in deposit for some time before the application for attachment.

6. In the result, the appeal fails and is dismissed but, under the circumstances, without costs.


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