CR No.5257 of 2016 1
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT
CR No.5257 of 2016
Date of Decision-05.09.2017
Kuldeep Singh … Petitioner
Kamaljeet Kaur … Respondent
CORAM:-HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE RAJ MOHAN SINGH
Present: Ms. Ruchi Sekhri, Advocate
for the petitioner.
None for the respondent.
RAJ MOHAN SINGH, J.
. Petitioner has assailed the order dated 02.07.2016
passed by Additional District Judge, Jalandhar, whereby application
under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act filed by the respondent
was allowed along with grant of litigation expenses.
. Respondent was tried for the murder of her son i.e. son
of the petitioner in case bearing FIR No.140 dated 19.12.2010
under Section 302 read with Section 34 IPC, Police Station
Nakodar. Respondent and Satbir Singh were convicted and
sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a term of life and to
pay fine of Rs.1000/- each under Sections 120-B/302 IPC. Both the
sentences were ordered to run concurrently.
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CR No.5257 of 2016 2
. The allegations were that son of the petitioner namely
Satinderjit Singh was poisoned by the respondent as she was
having illicit relations with Satbir Singh in the absence of the
petitioner. Respondent and Satbir Singh had a doubt that Satinderjit
Singh may not disclose this fact to his father i.e. petitioner, therefore
they had entered into a conspiracy for killing Satinderjit Singh.
. During the trial of the criminal case, guilt of the
respondent and her paramour was found to the hilt and they were
accordingly convicted and sentenced in the manner as disclosed
earlier. At the relevant stage, the petitioner was living in Italy.
. Petitioner filed a petition under Section 13 of the Hindu
Marriage Act for dissolution of marriage between the parties. During
pendency of the said petition, respondent filed an
application/petition under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
. The said application was contested by the petitioner on
the ground that the respondent had become unchaste and
therefore, she was not entitled to any maintenance either under
Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act or under Section 18 of the Hindu
Adoption and Maintenance Act. On the allegations of unchastity, the
respondent had already been convicted. Since the respondent was
found to be having illicit relations with co-accused Satbir Singh and
has not remained chaste, therefore, she was not entitled to any
maintenance under Hindu Marriage Act.
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CR No.5257 of 2016 3
. Trial Court awarded an amount of Rs.10,000/- per month
as maintenance pendente lite and an amount of Rs.15,000/-as
litigation expenses. Since the respondent is in custody, therefore,
her entitlement has been curtailed to Rs.5000/- per month during
her period of custody and on her release, she would be entitled to
Rs.10,000/- per month maintenance as awarded by the Additional
District Judge, Jalandhar.
. None has appeared on behalf of the respondent despite
her service in jail. Office report dated 15.10.2016 is suggestive of
the fact that notice issued to the respondent was duly served. The
respondent has been convicted and sentenced for the murder of
son of the parties and is undergoing sentence in the jail. The
petition for divorce was filed only after her conviction by the Court of
Sessions, therefore, in such situation, provision in terms of Section
24 of the Hindu Marriage Act cannot be treated to be mandatory in
view of guilt of the respondent under Section 302 IPC in collusion
with her paramour. It was proved that the respondent was living in
infidelity with her own sweet will. Even in terms of Section 18(3) of
the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act and Section 25 of the
Hindu Marriage Act, the maintenance can be denied to a lady who
has become unchaste. The factum of respondent being unchaste
has been proved by way of her conviction along with her paramour
and above all, the allegations were of killing of her own son in order
to screen her illegitimate relationship with her paramour.
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CR No.5257 of 2016 4
. In view of material on record, I find that the impugned
order granting maintenance to the respondent is on wrong premise.
Therefore, the order dated 02.07.2016 passed by Additional District
Judge, Jalandhar, is set aside. Application under Section 24 of the
Hindu Marriage Act filed by the respondent is dismissed in toto. It
has come on record that the appeal against judgment of conviction
and order of sentence is pending. If the respondent is acquitted of
the charges in appeal, she would be entitled to seek grant of
maintenance pendente lite or permanent alimony whatever the
situation may be at that time in accordance with law. However, the
present order would not create any impediment in the way of any
reconciliatory mechanism between the parties (if any).
(RAJ MOHAN SINGH)
Whether reasoned/speaking Yes/No
Whether Reportable Yes/No
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