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Senior Associate in the Dispute Resolution Practice Area at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Manasvi joined us in 2019, after having worked for more than 6 years at a tier 1 law firm of India and thereafter with a practicing Counsel of the Bombay High Court. She has extensive experience in handling disputes of general commercial nature. She focuses on litigation and arbitration arising out of contractual / corporate disputes. She can be reached at

Supreme Court clarifies the law on Maintenance


In our blog post titled “Maintenance and Women[1]”, we had inter alia discussed various statutory provisions under which women in India can claim maintenance. This blog post is in furtherance to the said post.

Recognising the dire need to have uniformity, consistency, procedural fairness and time efficiency in disposal of maintenance applications, the Supreme Court has recently, in the matter of Rajnesh v. Neha & Anr.[2] inter alia, framed guidelines on certain aspects pertaining to payment of maintenance in matrimonial disputes (“Guidelines”). Further, the Court has also set out a comprehensive format in which the Affidavit of Disclosure of Assets and Liabilities (“Affidavit of Disclosure”) is to be filed by parties to matrimonial disputes of such nature.
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Women and Maintenance

Maintenance, as a concept, has its roots in the social justice system of a civilised society. The Supreme Court, explaining the rationale behind providing maintenance in the case of Badshah v. Urmila Badshah Godse and Anr[1], has held that the “provision of maintenance…aims at empowering the destitute and achieving social justice or equality and dignity of the individual. …The law regulates relationships between people. It reflects the values of society.” In India, the right to claim maintenance is statutorily available under both personal and general laws, and such a right cannot be taken away by way of an agreement to the contrary[2]. Maintenance can be awarded during the course of the proceedings (i.e. maintenance pendente lite) or at the conclusion thereof (i.e. permanent maintenance). The right to claim maintenance is available to wives, children and parents. Under certain personal laws, even husbands (who are unable to maintain themselves) are entitled to claim maintenance.  This article discusses the provisions under various personal and general laws that entitle a wife to claim maintenance.
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