Saturday, August 11, 2018

Armed Forces Tribunal deprecates the practice of senior military commanders granting maintenance to spouses in marital disputes

The archaic practice of the military awarding “maintenance” to spouses of defence personnel in a summary manner instead of invoking the specialized law dealing with the subject through regular Courts, came under sharp criticism from the Armed Forces Tribunal.

Though there is a well-oiled and established procedure available under Indian law for seeking maintenance in marital or family disputes, orders granting maintenance were being routinely passed by senior military commanders through non-reasoned directions without even discussing the facts of the issue or the evidence thereon. This had remained a sore point and had also been deprecated by a Committee of Experts constituted by the Ministry of Defence.

The Tribunal has now ruled that the Army has no independent power to grant such maintenance in what essentially is a private dispute between two individuals.

The entire judgment is discussed nicely here at Bar & Bench.

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