In Family cases where the Court has not Fixed any Date for Applicability of Annual Increase in the Maintenance, The Increase Shall be Deemed to be Applicable from the Date of the Decree.

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In Family cases where the Court has not Fixed any Date for Applicability of Annual Increase in the Maintenance, The Increase Shall be Deemed to be Applicable from the Date of the Decree.

Section 17-A (2) of the Family Courts Act, 1964, is concerned about the maintenance of a minor born out of the wedlock on the part of the father. The said section does not envisage that in case annual increase is ordered in maintenance and it is made applicable retrospectively, what should be the date of applicability of the annual increase.

The Lahore High Court has recently settled this question and has held that the affective date for annual increase in cases of maintenance with retrospective affect shall be the date when the decree was passed, not when the court declared the minor entitled to recover arears from his father.

The Court emphasized that the courts must adhere to the concept of judgment, decree and order while passing any of these. The courts must effectively render their decisions which shall be unequivocal, clear and unambiguous in letter and spirit.ย  In this regard, the Court shed light on the concept of Order, Decree and Judgment in view of different laws which define these terms. The Court after analyzing the concept of the these terms and referring to a few judgments of the SC on this point, draw a conclusion that a judgment shall possess four ingredients namely, the statement of the case, the point/s for determination, the findings of the court on each point and finally the reasoning of the decision. If any of these points is missing, the decision would not made applicable and it would not be able to decide the lis effectively. The very purpose behind a judgment is to decide a dispute between the parties finally and effectively which will yield justice in the society. If a dispute is decided in an ineffective way, it will not serve the purpose of rendering a judgment.

The HC held at the end that in family cases, n certain cases, orders to the extent of maintenanceย  amount are passed with retrospective effect. The courts in such an eventuality must allot a date of applicability of the annual increase in the said maintenance amount as to when the annual increase will be effective from. If a court does not fix a date as to when the annual increase in the maintenance will be applicable from, the date when the decree is passed shall be deemed to be the date of applicability of the annual increase in the said maintenance.

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2023LHC5893

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