The Supreme Court has dismissed a husband plea against the Patna High Court direction to pay Rs. 20,000 to his wife monthly, as a condition for granting anticipatory bail.
In this case, the husband had approached the High Court seeking anticipatory bail apprehending arrest in a Domestic Violence Complaint filed by his wife. While disposing his pre-arrest bail plea, the court noted that a divorce case between the parties is pending. Therefore, the High Court allowed the plea, but by imposing a condition that he should pay Rs. 20,000 to his wife monthly. Though he filed an application seeking modification of the order, the same was dismissed.
Assailing these orders, the husband approached the Apex Court contending that the proceedings for grant of anticipatory bail is not the correct proceedings to grant maintenance and the High Court is not the appropriate forum to decide the issue of maintenance while hearing anticipatory bail application.He also contended that he is not in position to pay a monthly maintenance to the Respondent in lieu of the anticipatory bail due to his financial situation.
He relied on the judgment in Munish Bhasin & Ors. v. State (Government of NCT of Delhi) & Anr. (2009) 4 SCC 45 to contend that conditions that can be imposed should be (i) to secure the presence of the accused before the investigating officer or before the Court, (ii) to prevent him from fleeing the course of justice, (iii) to prevent him from tampering with the evidence or to prevent him from inducing or intimidating the witnesses so as to dissuade them from disclosing the facts before the police or Court or (iv) restricting the movements of the accused in a particular area or locality or to maintain law and order etc. It was pointed out that, in the said judgment, it would be beyond jurisdiction of the power conferred on Court under section 438 of the Code, to subject an accused to any other condition. In the said judgment, the Court had set aside the direction of the High Court requiring a husband to pay maintenance to his wife and child while granting anticipatory bail to him and his parents with reference to the complaint filed by his wife.
We see no reason to interfere with the impugned order passed by the High Court, the bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Krishna Murari observed while dismissing his SLP.
Case: Mohan Murari vs. State of Bihar [ Diary No(s).20961/2020]Coram: Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Krishna MurariCounsel: Adv Vaibhav Choudhary, AOR Lzafeer Ahmad B. F.