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S.125 CrPC | Husband Having Sufficient Means Obligated To Maintain Wife & Children, Can't Shirk Away Familial Responsibility: Delhi High Court

Nupur Thapliyal
27 April 2022 4:23 AM GMT
S.125 CrPC | Husband Having Sufficient Means Obligated To Maintain Wife & Children, Cant Shirk Away Familial Responsibility: Delhi High Court
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The Delhi High Court has observed that Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure entails that if the husband has sufficient means, he is obligated to maintain his wife and children, and not shirk away from his moral and familial responsibilities.Justice Subramonium Prasad also said that the provision was enacted to ensure that women and children are provided maintenance by the husband so as...

The Delhi High Court has observed that Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure entails that if the husband has sufficient means, he is obligated to maintain his wife and children, and not shirk away from his moral and familial responsibilities.

Justice Subramonium Prasad also said that the provision was enacted to ensure that women and children are provided maintenance by the husband so as to protect them from a life of potential vagrancy and destitution.

"The Supreme Court has consistently upheld that the conceptualisation of Section 125 was meant to ameliorate the financial suffering of a woman who had left her matrimonial home; it is a means to secure the woman's sustenance, along with that of the children, if any. The statutory provision entails that if the husband has sufficient means, he is obligated to maintain his wife and children, and not shirk away from his moral and familial responsibilities," the Court observed.

The Court was of the view that while adjudicating upon a matter of maintenance, it is important for the Courts to bear in mind that the same was enumerated to further the cause of social justice and that the interpretation of the provision should be done in a manner to prevent a situation wherein the wife or children are inadvertently nudged into vagrancy and destitution.

"It is meant to provide a speedy remedy for the supply of food, clothing and shelter to the deserted wife," the Court added.

The Court was dealing with a plea challenging the Order dated 09.11.2021 passed by the Family Court wherein the petitioner husband was directed to pay an interim maintenance of Rs. 20,000 per month to the Respondent Wife with effect from the date of filing the petition.

The parties were married on 10.07.1989 and two sons were born to them. Matrimonial disputes arose between the parties in 2013 and it was alleged that the Respondent Wife treated the Petitioner Husband with cruelty. Thereafter, the Husband and the Wife started residing separately with the husband living with his elder son and the wife living with the younger son.

In December 2015, the Respondent Wife allegedly forcibly entered the property of the Petitioner Husband and started living in a portion of the house. In 2018, vide Settlement dated 16.08.2018, the Petitioner Husband agreed to pay the Respondent Wife a sum of Rs. 5,000 per month.

On 17.12.2018, the Respondent Wife filed a petition under sec. 125 Cr.P.C., along with an application for interim maintenance, wherein she had alleged that she was treated with cruelty and that the Petitioner Husband was earning Rs. 3,00,000 per month. This was contested by the Petitioner Husband who stated that the Respondent Wife was earning Rs. 40,000 per month and that he himself was an auto driver.

Vide Mediation Settlement on 13.01.2020, it was agreed that the Petitioner Husband would continue giving an amount of Rs. 5,000 to the Respondent Wife. However, vide impugned Order, the Family Court directed the Petitioner Husband to pay a sum of Rs. 20,000 to the Respondent Wife per month as an interim maintenance.

Aggrieved by the same, the Petitioner Husband approached the High Court challenging the same by way of the revision petition.

The Court observed that the scope of interference in a revision petition under sec. 397 and 401 Cr.P.C. read with sec. 482 Cr.P.C. is narrow and can only be done if a situation arises wherein the impugned Order is replete with legal infirmities and is unconscionable to the rule of law.

The Court said that a perusal of the impugned Order indicated that the Family Court had astutely considered the affidavits of income, assets and liabilities as well as other documents filed by both the parties before arriving at the decision and that it had also taken cognizance of the settlement deed and noted that no material was placed on record to substantiate the submission of the Petitioner Husband that a regular interim maintenance of Rs. 5,000 was being paid to the Respondent Wife.

"Moreover, it was also found by the Ld. Family Court that in the assessment year 2020-2021, the Petitioner/Husband had sales of Rs. 85,93,417/- and also had a miscellaneous income of Rs. 48,910/-. Accordingly, the Ld. Family Court came to the conclusion that the Petitioner/Husband had a monthly income of Rs. 60,000/- and, therefore, had the wherewithal to pay maintenance to the Respondent/Wife. In consequence of the same, it was directed that the Respondent/Wife was entitled to an interim maintenance of Rs. 20,000/- per month from the date of filing of the petition, i.e. 17.12.2018," the Court added.

Therefore, the Court concluded that the impugned Order was well-reasoned and did not betray any legal infirmity.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the plea and upheld the impugned order of the Family Court.

Case Title: JITENDRA KUMAR GARG v. MANJU GARG

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 374

Click Here To Read Order 


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