Maintenance was regarded as a duty, a duty of a Hindu, Which he owed to his dependent relations and by which both, the person and property were bound. There was a distinction between legal and moral obligation to pay maintenance. When it was legal, it was binding even if the person did not have any property, but when it was moral and optional; it was matter of conscience and was unenforceable in the law of courts. However, on the death of a Hindu who had the moral obligation to pay maintenance, the said moral obligation used to become transformed, in majority Of cases, into a legal obligation. It could then be enforced against the property left by the deceased. Hindu the principle underlying such rule was that the heir of the deceased takes the estate not for his own benefit, but also for the spiritual benefit of the person whose property he inherited.
This is an integral part of all matrimonial proceedings. Application for maintenance can be moved by either of the spouse who does not have the sufficient means to maintain him/herself. Maintenance can also be classified into two parts:
Interim Maintenance: Such maintenance is provided during the pendency of the case in the court. The underlying idea behind giving such maintenance is that one party should not loose and stand on a weaker footing at the time of contesting case. Quantum of such maintenance is dependant on variety of factor but most important aspect is the status of the parties prior to the filing of the case and the income/salary of the spouse against whom such maintenance is claimed. Court always tries to bring both the party at equal platform and footing.
Permanent Maintenance: It is awarded at the time when whole case is finally decided. It could be periodical or monthly depends upon the facts and circumstances of the case.