Smt.Sadhana Bhadoria vs Shri Atul Pratap Singh Bhadoria on 4 September, 2017

1 MCRC Nos.1394/2014 2463/2013

M.Cr.C. No.1394/2014
Smt. Sadhana Bhadoria vs. Atul Pratap Singh Bhadoria

M.Cr.C. No.2463/2013
Atul Pratap Singh vs. Smt. Sadhana Bhadoria
04.09.2017
Shri Sandeep Bhadoria, Counsel for the applicant in
M.Cr.C.No.1394/2014 and counsel for the respondent in

M.Cr.C.No.2463/2013.

Shri Arvind Dudawat, Counsel for the applicant in
M.Cr.C.No.2463/2013 and respondent in M.Cr.C.No.1394/2014
Heard finally.

This order, shall dispose of the M.Cr.C. No.
2463/2013 filed by the husband-Atul Pratap Singh and
M.Cr.C.No.1394/2014 filed by wife-Smt. Sadhana
Bhadoria.

This application under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. has
been filed by the wife for enhancement of maintenance
amount against the order dated 14-6-2013 passed by
Sessions Judge, Bhind in Criminal Case No. 17/2013
affirming the order dated 2-1-2013 passed by J.M.F.C.
Bhind in Case No. 25/2011 by which the monthly
maintenance at the rate of Rs.3000/- per month has been
fixed.

M.Cr.C. No. 2463 of 2013 has been filed by the
husband Atul Pratap Singh, directly against the order
dated 2-1-2013 passed by J.M.F.C., Bhind in Case No.
25/2011 and has challenged the award of maintenance
amount of Rs.3000/- to his wife Smt. Sadhana Bhadoriya.

The necessary facts for the disposal of the present
application in short are that the respondent had filed an
application under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. alleging that she
2 MCRC Nos.1394/2014 2463/2013

was married to the applicant on 21/2/2002 and a girl,
namely, Shrishti was born out of the wedlock on 1/6/2003.
It was alleged that after some time of the marriage, the
applicant and his family members started demanding
Rs.1,00,000/- and because of non-fulfillment of demand of
dowry, they started harassing the respondent physically as
well as mentally. As the respondent could not fulfill their
demand of dowry, therefore, the applicant filed a petition
for grant of divorce in the year 2005 on flimsy grounds,
which was later on compromised and the petition for
divorce was dismissed on 9/11/2005. It was alleged that
even after the compromise the atrocities of the applicant
and his family members continued, as a result of which,
the applicant left the respondent in her parents home on
4/2/2007 and under compulsion the respondent was
forced to lodge a FIR against the applicant and his family
members for offence under Section 498-A of IPC. It was
further alleged that the applicant has also forcibly taken
away the daughter, who was aged about 3 years and got
her admitted in the boarding school, as a result of which,
the respondent could not even meet with her daughter. It
was alleged that once again on false grounds, the
applicant has filed an application under Section 13 of the
Hindu Marriage Act. It was alleged that the applicant is a
Teacher and is getting monthly salary of Rs.12,000/- and
has also an agricultural land in village Bhadakur and has a
plot in Phooph from which he is earning an yearly income
of Rs.4,00,000/- and thus, it was prayed that the applicant
be directed to pay an amount of Rs.6,000/- per month by
way of maintenance.

3 MCRC Nos.1394/2014 2463/2013

The applicant had filed reply and denied the
allegations that he had ever mentally or physically
tortured the respondent. It was alleged that in fact the
behaviour of the respondent was not cordial and under the
influence of her mother and brother, she is residing
separately at Lahar. It was further alleged that the
respondent never had any affectionate attitude towards
her daughter and on several occasions she used to beat
her very badly. It was alleged that initially the applicant
had filed a petition for divorce in which the respondent
had accepted her mistake and accordingly on the basis of
compromise the case was dismissed. As the respondent
was not looking after her daughter properly, therefore,
under compulsion the applicant was forced to get her
admitted in a boarding school. It was alleged that the
applicant has no agricultural land or plot.

The trial court after recording the evidence of the
parties and hearing both the parties, allowed the
application under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. and directed the
applicant to pay the maintenance amount at the rate of
Rs.3,000/- per month.

It is submitted by the Counsel for the husband that
in fact it is the wife, who is residing separately without any
reasonable reason and She is not entitled for
maintenance, whereas it is submitted by the Counsel for
the wife, that She was harassed and treated with cruelty
by the husband and has been forced to reside separately,
and the maintenance of the wife, being the personal
obligation of the husband, therefore, the Trial Court has
rightly held that the wife/applicant is entitled for
4 MCRC Nos.1394/2014 2463/2013

maintenance.

Considered the submissions made by the Counsel for
the parties.

From the evidence of the parties, it is clear that the
wife had made a complaint for offence under Section 498-
A of I.P.C. and had also filed an application under Section
12 of The Protection of Women From Domestic Violence
Act whereas the husband had also filed a petition for
divorce against the wife/applicant. Thus, from the
allegations and counter allegations made by the Parties,
the Trial Court came to the conclusion that the
wife/applicant is residing separately because of reasonable
reason. The findings recorded by the Trial Court cannot be
said to be perverse in view of the allegations made by the
parties against each other.

So far as the quantum of maintenance is concerned,
it is submitted by the Counsel for the wife/applicant that
the Trial Court by order dated 14-10-2009, had awarded
Rs. 500 per month by way of interim maintenance.
However, the maintenance amount was enhanced to Rs.
4000 per month by the Trial Court by order dated 13-2-
2012. It is submitted that once, the interim maintenance
amount was fixed at Rs. 4000/- per month, then the Trial
Court should not have fixed the final maintenance at Rs.
3000/- per month i.e., Rs. 1000/- less than the interim
maintenance. It is further submitted that looking to the
price index, inflation rate and hike in price of the goods of
daily needs, the maintenance amount of Rs. 3000/- per
month is liable to be enhanced.

Per contra, it is submitted by the Counsel for the
5 MCRC Nos.1394/2014 2463/2013

husband/respondent that the maintenance amount of Rs.
3000/- per month awarded by the Trial Court is on higher
side. The wife/applicant is also getting Rs. 1000/- per
month, in proceedings under Hindu Marriage Act.

Heard the learned Counsel for the parties on the
question of quantum of maintenance.

The Supreme Court in the case of Bhagwan Dutt
Vs. Kamla Devi reported in (1975) 2 SCC 386 has held
as under:-

“19. The object of these provisions being to
prevent vagrancy and destitution, the
Magistrate has to find out as to what is
required by the wife to maintain a standard
of living which is neither luxurious nor
penurious, but is modestly consistent with
the status of the family. The needs and
requirements of the wife for such moderate
living can be fairly determined, only if her
separate income, also, is taken into account
together with the earnings of the husband
and his commitments.”

The Supreme Court in the case of Shamima
Farooqui Vs. Shahid Khan, reported in (2015) 5 SCC
705 has held as under :

“14. Coming to the reduction of quantum
by the High Court, it is noticed that the
High Court has shown immense sympathy
to the husband by reducing the amount
after his retirement. It has come on record
that the husband was getting a monthly
salary of Rs 17,654. The High Court,
without indicating any reason, has reduced
the monthly maintenance allowance to Rs
2000. In today’s world, it is extremely
difficult to conceive that a woman of her
status would be in a position to manage
within Rs 2000 per month. It can never be
forgotten that the inherent and
6 MCRC Nos.1394/2014 2463/2013

fundamental principle behind Section 125
CrPC is for amelioration of the financial
state of affairs as well as mental agony
and anguish that a woman suffers when
she is compelled to leave her matrimonial
home. The statute commands that there
have to be some acceptable arrangements
so that she can sustain herself. The
principle of sustenance gets more
heightened when the children are with her.

Be it clarified that sustenance does not
mean and can never allow to mean a mere
survival. A woman, who is constrained to
leave the marital home, should not be
allowed to feel that she has fallen from
grace and move hither and thither
arranging for sustenance. As per law, she
is entitled to lead a life in the similar
manner as she would have lived in the
house of her husband. And that is where
the status and strata of the husband
comes into play and that is where the legal
obligation of the husband becomes a
prominent one. As long as the wife is held
entitled to grant of maintenance within the
parameters of Section 125 CrPC, it has to
be adequate so that she can live with
dignity as she would have lived in her
matrimonial home. She cannot be
compelled to become a destitute or a
beggar. There can be no shadow of doubt
that an order under Section 125 CrPC can
be passed if a person despite having
sufficient means neglects or refuses to
maintain the wife. Sometimes, a plea is
advanced by the husband that he does not
have the means to pay, for he does not
have a job or his business is not doing
well. These are only bald excuses and, in
fact, they have no acceptability in law. If
the husband is healthy, able-bodied and is
in a position to support himself, he is
under the legal obligation to support his
wife, for wife’s right to receive
maintenance under Section 125 CrPC,
7 MCRC Nos.1394/2014 2463/2013

unless disqualified, is an absolute right.

15. While determining the quantum of
maintenance, this Court in Jasbir Kaur
Sehgal v. District Judge, Dehradun has
held as follows: (SCC p. 12, para 8)
“8. … The court has to consider the
status of the parties, their respective
needs, the capacity of the husband to pay
having regard to his reasonable expenses
for his own maintenance and of those he is
obliged under the law and statutory but
involuntary payments or deductions. The
amount of maintenance fixed for the wife
should be such as she can live in
reasonable comfort considering her status
and the mode of life she was used to when
she lived with her husband and also that
she does not feel handicapped in the
prosecution of her case. At the same time,
the amount so fixed cannot be excessive or
extortionate.”

16. Grant of maintenance to wife has
been perceived as a measure of social
justice by this Court. In Chaturbhuj v. Sita
Bai, it has been ruled that: (SCC p. 320,
para 6)
“6. … Section 125 CrPC is a measure of
social justice and is specially enacted to
protect women and children and as noted
by this Court in Capt. Ramesh Chander
Kaushal v. Veena Kaushal falls within the
constitutional sweep of Article 15(3)
reinforced by Article 39 of the Constitution
of India. It is meant to achieve a social
purpose. The object is to prevent vagrancy
and destitution. It provides a speedy
remedy for the supply of food, clothing and
shelter to the deserted wife. It gives effect
to fundamental rights and natural duties of
a man to maintain his wife, children and
parents when they are unable to maintain
themselves. The aforesaid position was
highlighted in Savitaben Somabhai Bhatiya
v. State of Gujarat.”

8 MCRC Nos.1394/2014 2463/2013

17. This being the position in law, it is
the obligation of the husband to maintain
his wife. He cannot be permitted to plead
that he is unable to maintain the wife due
to financial constraints as long as he is
capable of earning.

18. In this context, we may profitably
quote a passage from the judgment
rendered by the High Court of Delhi in
Chander Parkash Bodh Raj v. Shila Rani
Chander Prakash wherein it has been
opined thus: (SCC OnLine Del para 7)

7. … an able-bodied young man has to
be presumed to be capable of earning
sufficient money so as to be able
reasonably to maintain his wife and child
and he cannot be heard to say that he is
not in a position to earn enough to be able
to maintain them according to the family
standard. It is for such able-bodied person
to show to the Court cogent grounds for
holding that he is unable, for reasons
beyond his control, to earn enough to
discharge his legal obligation of maintaining
his wife and child. When the husband does
not disclose to the Court the exact amount
of his income, the presumption will be
easily permissible against him.

19. From the aforesaid enunciation of
law it is limpid that the obligation of the
husband is on a higher pedestal when the
question of maintenance of wife and
children arises. When the woman leaves the
matrimonial home, the situation is quite
different. She is deprived of many a
comfort. Sometimes her faith in life
reduces. Sometimes, she feels she has lost
the tenderest friend. There may be a feeling
that her fearless courage has brought her
the misfortune. At this stage, the only
comfort that the law can impose is that the
husband is bound to give monetary
comfort. That is the only soothing legal
balm, for she cannot be allowed to resign to
9 MCRC Nos.1394/2014 2463/2013

destiny. Therefore, the lawful imposition for
grant of maintenance allowance.”

It is submitted by the Counsel for the
husband/respondent that due to cruel behavior of the
wife/applicant towards her own child as well as her in-
laws, the husband/respondent was forced to send his child
to a boarding school and therefore, apart from his old
parents, he is also required to bear the additional cost of
lodging and boarding school of his child. It has come on
record, that the husband/respondent is working as a
school teacher. The Trial Court by order dated 13-2-2012
had enhanced the interim maintenance from Rs.500/- per
month to Rs. 4,000/- per month. From order dated 13-2-
2012, it is clear that the interim maintenance which was
being granted to the wife/applicant under Section 24 of
Hindu Marriage Act was also stopped due to termination of
proceedings. It is submitted by the Counsel for the
husband/respondent that he is also paying Rs.1000/- in
appeal arising out of divorce proceedings, however, this
fact has been denied by the Counsel for the wife/applicant
and the husband/respondent has not placed any order on
record to show that he is making payment of Rs.1000/- in
appeal by way of interim maintenance.

In the year 2012, the monthly salary of the
husband/respondent was Rs.19698/-. The
husband/respondent also had the responsibility of his
daughter. Considering the price index, inflation rate, prices
of the goods of daily needs, social status of the parties, as
well as the liability of the husband/respondent to look
after his daughter, this Court is of the view that the
10 MCRC Nos.1394/2014 2463/2013

wife/applicant is entitled for monthly maintenance at the
rate of Rs.4,000/-. Thus, the amount of Rs.3000/- per
month granted by the Trial Court is enhanced to Rs.4000/-
per month. The enhanced maintenance amount shall be
payable to the wife/applicant from the date of order of the
order passed by the Trial Court i.e., 2-1-2013, because
she was already getting Rs.4000/- per month by way of
interim maintenance during the proceedings under Section
125 of Cr.P.C.

Accordingly, the maintenance amount awarded to the
wife/applicant by the Trial Court and affirmed by the
Revisional Court is enhanced from Rs.3000/- per month to
Rs.4000/- per month from the date of order of the Trial
Court i.e., 2-1-2013.

Accordingly, this application succeeds and is hereby
allowed to the extent mentioned above.

(G.S. Ahluwalia)
(alok)* Judge

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