Asia & Australia

December 28, 2017

Filing of affidavit of assets not mandatory in maintenance proceedings ordered: Delhi HC


Delhi-High-Court

The orders that the Delhi High Court had issued have been modified on 14 January, 2015 and 29 May, 2017, in which it had made it mandatory to file an affidavit of assets, income and expenditure with the petition and written statements in maintenance proceedings.

The Delhi High Court has modified the orders it had issued on 14 January, 2015 and 29 May, 2017, in which it had made it mandatory to file an affidavit of assets, income and expenditure along with the petition and written statements in maintenance proceedings. The Court has issued new directions, which will be implemented with effect from 1 January, 2018.

The directions clarify that the filing of the affidavit of assets, income and expenditure is not to be mandatorily filed along with the petition and the written statement as had been directed earlier. Also, the Court is to fix the date for reconciliation and the parties must simultaneously file their affidavits before the Family Court at the commencement of the reconciliation. The Court is to grant time to the parties to respond to the affidavits of the opposite parties and fix the case for hearing on the maintenance application, in case the reconciliation efforts fail.

The Courts are at liberty to determine the nature and extent of information or documents necessary and shall pass appropriate directions as may be considered necessary to do complete justice between the parties, the court said. It was also stated that, maintenance orders must be passed expeditiously without any delay, in certain cases such as those belonging to disabled persons.

The Courts have been directed to endeavor to expedite the hearing and disposal of the maintenance application and directions have been issued by this Court to ensure that the true income of the parties is determined and the maintenance orders passed without any undue delay.

On January, 2015, the Court had laid down the guidelines for expeditious hearing and disposal of maintenance applications under Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act. An affidavit of assets, income and expenditure was also formulated. These had to be filed by both the parties at the very threshold of the litigation. These guidelines had been partly modified in May after a submission by Amicus Curiae Sunil Mittal that the filling of the prescribed affidavits not only leads to the substantive proceedings getting delayed due to the time taken in collecting these documents but also gives undue advantage to the Respondent.

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