The dispute is between the husband and wife and it relates to award of permanent alimony payable to wife. The Supreme Court has set aside an ‘unreasoned’ family court order that directed a husband to pay Rs 15 lakh as permanent alimony to wife.
According to the top court, orders of the high court and family court deprived the man to know the reasons for fixing the permanent alimony amount of Rs 15,00,000 payable to his wife.
- The appellant-husband filed a petition against the respondent-wife under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1954 before the Judge, Family Court, Bhubaneswar seeking decree for dissolution of marriage on the grounds of desertion and cruelty
- The respondent filed her written statement and denied the material averments of the appellant’s claim
- On the basis of the pleadings and the evidence adduced by the parties, the Family Judge, by order dated September 17, 2014, allowed the petition and passed a decree of divorce by dissolving the marriage
- The Family Judge also directed the appellant(husband) to pay permanent alimony of Rs 15,00,000 and litigation expenses of Rs 10,000 to the respondent(wife)
- Aggrieved by that part of the order of the Family Court by which the appellant was directed to pay permanent alimony of Rs 15,00,000 to the respondent(wife), filed appeal before the Division Bench of the High Court
- By judgment/decree dated November 03, 2014, the Division Bench of the High Court dismissed the appellant’s appeal and affirmed the order of the Family Court
- Supreme Court bench of Justice RK Agrawal and Justice AM Sapre was considering an appeal filed by Jatin Padhiary (name changed) against the Odisha High Court order that had dismissed his appeal against the family court order awarding permanent alimony, in limine
Order (April 2018):
The bench, perusing the orders of family court and high court, said,
Both the Courts did not even mention the factual narration of the case set up by the parties on the question of award of permanent alimony and without there being any discussion, appreciation, reasoning and categorical findings on the material issues such as, financial earning capacity of husband to pay the alimony and also the financial earning capacity of wife, a direction to pay Rs 15,00,000/- by way of permanent alimony to the wife was given.
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The court observed that such orders are ‘wholly unsustainable’ as it causes prejudice to the parties. The bench said those orders deprived the husband to know the reasons for fixing the permanent alimony amount of payable to his wife.
The bench further added,
Time and again, this Court has emphasized on the Courts the need to pass reasoned order in every case, which must contain the narration of the bare facts of the case of the parties to the lis, the issues arising in the case, the submissions urged by the parties, the legal principles applicable to the issues involved and the reasons in support of the findings recorded based on appreciation of evidence on all the material issues arising in the case.
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Setting aside the orders, the court then remanded the case to the family court to decide the quantum of payment of permanent alimony afresh.