Maintenance fixed in the compromise can be altered u/s 127 Cr.P.C.

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

Criminal Misc. Application No. 11923 of 2007

Ram Narayan Gupta Vs. Smt. Laxmi Devi and others

Hon’ble R.K. Rastogi,J.

This is an application filed under section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the order dated 10.5.2007 passed by the Principal Judge, Family Court, Varanasi in complaint no. 247 of 2001 (Smt. Laxmi Devi and another Vs. Ram Narayan Gupta).
I have heard learned counsel for the applicant and learned A.G.A for the State.

Since the controversy involved in the case is legal one, I am deciding it on merits at the admission stage.

The facts relevant for disposal of the application are that the opposite parties no. 1 and 2 had filed an application under section 125 Cr.P.C. against the applicant which was registered as petition no. 2026 of 1990 in the court of Principal Judge, Family Court, Varanasi and in that case the parties filed compromise on 11.7.1995 in which it was agreed that the present applicant shall pay a sum of Rs. 500/- p.m. to his wife, present opposite party no. 1, and Rs. 200/- to his daughter, present opposite party no. 2. That case was decided in terms of that compromise vide order dated 12.7.1995. Thereafter, the present opposite parties no. 1 and 2 filed an application for enhancement of the amount of maintenance under section 127 Cr.P.C. which was registered as complaint case no. 247 of 2001. It was prayed in the application that the amount of maintenance payable to opposite party no. 1 should be enhanced, from Rs. 500/- p.m. to Rs. 5000/-p.m. and the amount payable to opposite party no. 2 from Rs. 200/-p.m. to Rs. 2000/- p.m. thus claiming total amount of Rs. 7000/- p.m. The application was contested by the present applicant and the Principal Judge, Family Court, Varanasi, after hearing both the parties enhanced the amount payable to present opposite party no. 1 from Rs. 500/- p.m. to Rs. 1000/-p.m. and the amount payable to opposite party no. 2 from Rs. 200/- p.m. to Rs. 500/-p.m.

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Aggrieved, with that order the applicant has filed this application under section 482 Cr.P.C.
Learned counsel for the applicant made one submission only before the court. He submitted that the earlier order of maintenance dated 12.7.1995 was passed on the basis of the compromise entered into between the parties, and so the court had no jurisdiction to make any alteration in the terms of that compromise, and thus the application moved under section 127 Cr.P.C. was not maintainable.

I do not agree with the above contention. It is to be seen that the earlier compromise dated 11.7.1995 entered into between the parties had a binding effect so far as the liability of the applicant to pay maintenance to his wife and daughter (present opposite parties no. 1 and 2) was concerned. But so far as the question of variation in the amount of maintenance is concerned the court has got ample jurisdiction to alter the amount of monthly allowance under section 127 Cr.P.C. taking into consideration the rise in prices.
The contention of the applicant could have same force if any lump sum payment had been made by way of permanent alimony vide the aforesaid compromise dated 11.7.1995, and in that case after receiving the final payment, the present opposite parties no. 1 and 2 could not raise any further claim under section 127 Cr.P.C. But this is not the position in the present case. The amount of Rs. 500/- p.m. was granted to opposite party no. 1 and of Rs. 200/-p.m. to opposite party no. 2 in the compromise reached in the year 1995. There has been sufficient rise in prices since that date and so the present opposite parties no. 1 and 2 moved an application under section 127 Cr.P.C. for enhancement of the amount of maintenance and the learned Principal Judge, Family Court, Varanasi, after hearing both the parties allowed the application, taking into consideration the rise in prices.

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It is to be seen that the period of about 12 years has passed since the date when the aforesaid compromise dated 11.7.1995 was entered into between the parties, and there had been sufficient rise in prices during this period, but the learned Principal Judge, Family Court, Varanasi adopting very reasonable approach enhanced the amount payable to opposite party no. 1 from Rs. 500/-p.m. to Rs. 1000/-p.m. and that payable to opposite party no. 2 from Rs. 200/-p.m. to Rs. 500/-p.m. It is also to be seen that opposite party no. 2 was a child at the time when the compromise dated 11.7.1995 was entered into between the parties but at present she is student of B.A. and her expenses have increased. It is also to be seen that the applicant is now posted as Manager of Gomti Gramin Bank and he is drawing salary of Rs.18,500/-p.m. and after deduction of Rs. 4000/- from his salary he is drawing net amount of Rs. 14,500/- p.m. He has been ordered to pay Rs. 1500/-p.m. only to opposite parties no.1 and 2 and this amount cannot be held to be excessive.

Learned Principal Judge, Family Court, Varanasi has enhanced the amount, but he has not clarified in the order as to from which date the enhancement shall be effective. It is hereby clarified that It shall be enforced from the date of order i.e. 10.5.2007.

However, as discussed above, there is no force in the plea of the applicant, that the application for enhancement of the maintenance was not maintainable in view of the compromise entered into between the parties on 11.7.1995.

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The above contention of the learned counsel for the applicant is therefore, rejected, and the order passed by the Principal Judge, Family Court, Varanasi, enhancing the amount of maintenance from the date 10.5.2007 is liable to be upheld.
Accordingly, the application under section 482 Cr.P.C. is rejected.

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