Interim Maintenance Order U/S 125 CrPC Cannot Be Treated As Interlocutory, Revision Can Be Preferred Under Family Courts Act: Madhya Pradesh HC
The Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur recently held that a criminal revision under Section 19(4) of the Family Courts Act can be preferred against an order for interim maintenance granted under Section 125 of CrPC.
Justice Rajendra Kumar (Verma) observed that an order of maintenance affects the rights of a person drastically and substantially and therefore, it cannot be treated as an interlocutory order.
"I am of the considered view that order of maintenance affects right of a person drastically and substantially, hence, it cannot be treated as interlocutory order and criminal revision should be preferred under Section 19(4) of the Family Courts Act against the order passed on the application for interim maintenance by the Family Court."
Hearing a petition under Section 482 CrPC, the court at the outset observed that Registry had raised an objection stating that a criminal revision under Section 397/401 of CrPC should be preferred against the impugned order passed by the Principal Judge of the Family Court, in which the court had allowed the application under Section 125 of CrPC for interim maintenance filed by the wife.
The counsel appearing for the petitioner-husband relying on the Rajasthan High Court's decision in Vishal Kochar v. Pulkit Sahni contended that the impugned order passed by the lower Court is an interim order, therefore criminal revision cannot be preferred against it.
The Court noted that Section 397 (2) Cr.P.C. provides that the power of revision conferred by subsection (1) of Section 397 CrPC shall not be exercised in relation to an interlocutory order passed in any appeal, inquiry, trial or other proceedings.
"Thus it is an undisputed legal position that a revision petition is not maintainable against an interlocutory order at all," the court said.
The court, while relying on previous apex court decisions, observed that if an order is passed in a pending proceeding or a trial and it does not terminate the proceeding finally and the rights and liabilities of the parties are not decided in finality, then that order shall be considered as an interlocutory order.
The court on a conjoint reading of Sub-section (1) and sub-section (2) of Section 19 of the Family Court act said that it is clear from the provision that an appeal would not be maintainable before the High Court from an order passed under Chapter 9 ( containing Section 125 to Section 128) of the CrPC.
"However, it is not as if a party aggrieved by an order passed under any of the provisions of Chapter 9 of the Cr.P.C. is remediless. This is so in view of sub-section (4) of Section 19 of the said Act, which provides for the revisionary power specifically qua an order passed under Chapter 9 of the Cr.P.C. making the intent of the legislature quite clear... the exception carved out is that it should not be an interlocutory order," the court said.
However, the Court pointed out that a Division Bench of the High Court in Aakansha Shrivastava Vs. Virendra Shrivastava & Anr. has held that any order which affects the rights of a person drastically and substantially, cannot be treated as interlocutory order and criminal revision can be preferred under Section 19(4) of the Family Courts Act against the order passed on the application for interim maintenance by the Family Court.
It also referred to a Full Bench's decision in Rajesh Shukla Vs. Meena Shukla.
Therefore, the court dismissed the petition and said criminal revision should be preferred under Section 19(4) of the Family Courts Act against the order passed on the application for interim maintenance by the Family Court.
Case Title: RK v. RB