10 Aug 2023 10:30 AM GMT
The Kerala High Court on Monday considered whether educational expenses paid to the children which were later reimbursed by the father's employer shall be reckoned as payment towards maintenance allowance under Section 125 CrPC.The provision stipulates payment of compensation to wife, children and parents.Justice VG Arun stated that educational expenses paid to children which were...
The Kerala High Court on Monday considered whether educational expenses paid to the children which were later reimbursed by the father's employer shall be reckoned as payment towards maintenance allowance under Section 125 CrPC.
The provision stipulates payment of compensation to wife, children and parents.
Justice VG Arun stated that educational expenses paid to children which were later reimbursed cannot be treated as maintenance allowance and held thus:
“It is not in dispute that the petitioner had not paid any amount to the first respondent/wife and payments to the other respondents (children) were towards tuition fees and other educational expenses. The object of Section 125 being to prevent destitution and vagrancy by ensuring reasonable allowance towards maintenance, payment of educational expense, which was later reimbursed, cannot be treated as the maintenance allowance contemplated under Section 125.”
The Family Court ordered petitioner-husband under Section 125 of CrPC to pay rupees four thousand each as maintenance allowance to the respondent wife and three children. Due to failure in payment of maintenance allowance, the respondents filed an execution petition seeking rupees one lakh twenty thousand as arrears of maintenance for the year 2019. The petitioner-husband objected to this and claimed that he has already paid the maintenance allowance. The execution petition was dismissed, and the respondents preferred a review. The review was allowed and against it the petitioner approached the High Court.
The counsel for the petitioner-husband contended that he has already paid over two lakhs rupees as maintenance amount.
On the other hand, the counsel for the respondents submitted that the petitioner-husband has not made any payment towards maintenance allowance. It was averred that second respondent son was studying for engineering and payments were made for his educational expenses. It was also submitted that the petitioner-husband has received reimbursement from his office for paying educational expenses of the children. Further, the counsel contended that the petitioner-husband has to pay four thousand rupees to each of the respondent as maintenance allowance and excess payment made to one child cannot be taken as a ground to deny maintenance amount to the wife and other children.
Justice V G Arun was in consonance with the submissions made by the counsel for the respondents that the very objective of Section 125 of CrPC was to prevent vagrancy and destitution of neglected wives and children.
The Court stated that the petitioner should have satisfied the order of the Family Court wherein he was ordered to pay rupees four thousand to each of the respondents separately. The Court opined that the Family Court was under the premise that the petitioner husband has paid educational expenses of the children and counted that as payment towards maintenance allowance. The Court found that the educational expenses paid by the petitioner towards the educational expenses of the children were already reimbursed by his employer.
The Court opined that the petitioner-husband was deliberately trying to evade payment of maintenance allowance, by projecting payment of educational expenses, which was already reimbursed to him. This evidence was not considered by the Family Court and therefore review was allowed, the Court stated.
On the above findings, the Court dismissed the petition and upheld the order in review.
Case title: Abdul Mujeeb v Suja
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Ker) 392
Case number: OP (CRL) 620/2022
Counsel for petitioner: Advocates T Madhu, C R Saradamani, Shahid Azeez, B K Rajagopal, Renjish S Menon
Counsel for the respondents: Advocates V Beena, S Naushad, M Thaha
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