A maintenance case is filed when the wife claims the amount after divorce or separation or during marriage subsistence. This obligation is raised in marriages, and husbands must pay their wives a maintenance amount.
The Indian region primarily consists of Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Parsi, and Jews, who are the five significant communities, each having laws based on their legalities and traditions or customs. Under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, husband and wife can claim maintenance, while the Special Marriage Act 1954 entitles only wife to claim maintenance and permanent alimony.
However, the most asked question during maintenance cases is whether husbands can avoid summons during these cases. Summon refers to a formal notice issued by a court that informs individuals that legal action has been initiated against them and requires their presence or response in court.
Avoiding a summons in a maintenance case initiated by your wife isn’t typically feasible if legal action has been officially taken. Ignoring or attempting to avoid a summons may result in legal consequences or judgments made in your absence, But there are ways these can be avoided, as explained by the expert legal counsellor, Monica Garkhel, in the sections below. Scroll down to know more.
What Are The Common Grounds Of Maintenance Cases?
Personal maintenance laws apply to everyone, including people from various religions. Everyone can claim maintenance regardless of caste or religion under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Filing a maintenance case against a husband is also applicable to a wife under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, for the Protection of Women.
The common grounds of maintenance for wives, parents, and children include the following:
- When the wife cannot maintain herself.
- A person’s illegitimate or legitimate minor child, regardless of being unmarried or married, cannot maintain itself.
- A person’s illegitimate or legitimate minor child (excluding married child) attains majority when the child cannot maintain itself due to injury, mental, or physical abnormality.
- A person’s mother or father cannot maintain herself or himself.
Such conditions allow wives, parents, and children to file a case against a person and claim maintenance in the court possessing jurisdiction.
Can I Avoid Summons In Maintenance Cases By Wife?
Some people wonder if they can avoid getting summoned in cases where their wives demand maintenance. It might delay the whole process if they don’t accept these summonses. But that’s not how it usually works.
Courts nowadays don’t let this slow things down. Even if someone refuses to accept the summons, judges quickly order “ad-interim” maintenance. This is like temporary financial support for the wife while the case is ongoing.
The judge might only consider the wife’s side of the story by not showing up in court. This can lead to the court deciding on higher maintenance payments without hearing from the husband.
Legal Consequences Of Avoiding Summons
- The court will next issue a summons with a bailable arrest warrant if you do not show up, and it will also issue an arrest warrant if you do not appear. Announcements follow that.
- When the husband evades or avoids summons, the court believes the wife’s statements and her claims since the court would not have any other option or the person present to defend against the maintenance.
- In instances involving 125 Crpc, when the husband fails to show up, ex parte procedures will be started against him. Ex-parte orders are passed when a person avoids summons since the husband did not appear in court.
- Following the issuance of an interim maintenance conditional warrant, the police will detain the husband and bring him before the court. He may also be arrested for nonpayment of maintenance for thirty days if he refuses to pay.
A court issues summons documents involving a legal proceeding that necessitates a person’s appearance. It informs that he needs to appear in court to defend himself and know and follow the proceedings.
The court issues summons through various means to inform a person that his wife filed a case against him, and he must pay for her maintenance and, if applicable, can defend against him through an appearance in court on the advised date.
Many legal consequences are faced when a person avoids a maintenance case filed by a wife. An ex-parte order may be passed, a warrant may be issued, and the person may be detained upon avoiding summons. Therefore, it is crucial to accept the summons and appear in court on the advised day, follow the legal proceedings, and avoid legal repercussions and consequences.
You can consult Jaipur’s leading gender equality crusader and understand more about summons and the strategies to abide by the legal proceedings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q 1. Is it compulsory to attend every court hearing after receiving a summons in a maintenance case?
Ans: Attending hearings is crucial, as non-attendance can lead to adverse decisions.
Q 2. Can I delay responding to a summons for a maintenance case filed by my wife?
Ans: A timely response is advisable to prevent unfavorable judgments or ad-interim orders.
Q 3. What happens if I mistakenly ignore or miss the deadline for responding to a summons?
Ans: Missing the deadline may result in court proceedings continuing without your input.
Q 4. Can I contest a maintenance case even after initially ignoring a summons?
Ans: It’s possible but might be more challenging without prompt legal action.
Q 5. Should I comply with the summons if I disagree with the maintenance claims made by my wife?
Ans: Participating in legal proceedings is essential to present your side and contest claims.
Q 6. What are the repercussions of continuous non-appearance after receiving a summons in a maintenance case?
Ans: Non-appearance might lead to orders based solely on the wife’s claims.
Q 7. Can I seek legal advice before responding to a summons for a maintenance case?
Ans: Seeking legal counsel is highly recommended to understand the implications and plan a suitable response.
Q 8. What if I live in a different city or country when I receive the summons?
Ans: Contact a lawyer immediately to understand legal options for addressing summons received in different locations.
Q 9. Does responding to a summons mean agreeing to the maintenance terms proposed by my wife?
Ans: No, responding allows you to present your defense and negotiate terms in court.
Q 10. Can I resolve the maintenance issue without attending court after receiving a summons?
Ans: Active participation in legal proceedings is necessary to resolve maintenance disputes effectively.