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Hanumant Singh vs Smt. Maangi Bai on 23 January, 2018

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THE HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
CRR 52/2018
Hanumant Singh vs. Smt. Maangi Bai

Gwalior, dtd. 23/ 01/2018
Shri Amit Lahoti with Shri Ankur Maheshwari, counsel
for the applicant.
Heard on the question of admission.
This Criminal Revision under Section 19(4) of Family
Courts Act r/w Section 397 of CrPC has been filed against the
order dated 07/12/2017 passed by Principal Judge, Family
Court, Guna in MJCR No.124/2016, by which the application
filed by the respondent under Section 125 of CrPC has been

allowed and the applicant has been directed to make the
payment of maintenance amount @ Rs.2,000/- per month till
next date of hearing.

The necessary facts for the disposal of the present
revision in short are that the respondent filed an application
under Section 125 of CrPC, alleging that she was married to
the applicant in the year 2012, however, on the first date of
marriage, the applicant came to the room of the respondent
at about 12:00 in the night and he was under the influence of
alcohol and said that the respondent is not his wife and he
would marry somebody else. When the respondent asked him
as to why he has spoiled her married life if he was interested
in marrying somebody else, then it was replied by the
applicant that he has married her under the influence of her
parents and left the room. When the respondent informed
about the conduct of the applicant to her father-in-law, then
he assured that in case if the applicant does not want to
reside with her then he has to leave the house.The respondent
objected that when the family members of the applicant was
already knowing the fact that the applicant wants to marry to
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other girl, then why this marriage has been organized, then, it
was replied by her father-in-law that there is no harm if the
applicant keeps two wives and started alleging that only one
day has passed after the marriage and the respondent is
asking too much questions. The respondent, thereafter,
informed her family members who came to her matrimonial
house and when it was objected by the parents of the
respondent about the conduct of the applicant, then the
parents-in-laws of the respondent assured that now the
applicant is improving himself and he would not misbehave in
future. However, the conduct of the applicant did not improve.
The applicant and his family members started demanding
money for stating business for the applicant. It was alleged
that in the month of October, 2014, she was ousted from her
matrimonial house and for the last two years, the applicant
and his family members are insisting that the respondent
should bring an amount of Rs.3 lacs for starting business of
the applicant, otherwise they will not keep her. It was further
submitted that the respondent is unable to maintain herself
and she has no independent source of income. She also
requires expenses for litigation, whereas the financial
condition of the applicant is strong, having 30 bighas of land.
He is also having a dairy business and accordingly, the
application was filed by the respondent for payment of
Rs.8,000/-by way of maintenance as well as Rs.600/- towards
to and fro expenses for attending the dates of the case and
Rs.5,000/- towards advocate fees.

The applicant filed his reply and denied the allegations.
It was further mentioned in the application that the
respondent has filed an application under Section 13 of Hindu
Marriage Act for grant of divorce and the applicant has also
given his consent.

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The trial Court, after recording the statements of the
witnesses, allowed the application and directed the applicant
to pay Rs.2,000/- per month by way of maintenance.

Challenging the order dated 07/12/2017 passed by
Principal Judge, Family Court, Guna in MJCR No.124/2016, it
is submitted by counsel for the applicant that in fact, it is the
respondent who has, herself, obtained divorce and secondly,
the applicant has no source of income. Therefore, the Court
below has committed material irregularity by allowing the
application under Section 125 of CrPC.

Considered the submissions made by the counsel for the
applicant.

The applicant, in his reply, has submitted that the
respondent has filed an application under Section 13 of Hindu
Marriage Act for grant of divorce and the applicant has also
expressed his consent. It is submitted by counsel for the
applicant that although the copy of the divorce decree has not
been placed on record, but the fact that the marital ties
between the parties have been broken by a decree of divorce,
is undisputed. It is further submitted that the divorce has
been granted on the ground of desertion.

Be that whatever it may be.

The fact is that the finding has been recorded by the
Court of competent jurisdiction while deciding the application
under Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act to the effect that the
applicant has deserted the respondent without any reasonable
reason. This finding itself is sufficient to hold that the
respondent is residing separately because of reasonable
reason and in fact, it is the applicant who has deserted the
respondent. It is well-established principle of law that a
divorced wife is entitled for maintenance, until and unless she
gets remarried. Thus, the finding given by the trial Court that
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the respondent is entitled for maintenance, does not suffer
from any infirmity.

So far as the quantum of maintenance amount is
concerned, the Court below has assessed the monthly income
of the applicant at Rs.5,000/- and has awarded maintenance
amount of Rs.2,000/- per month to the respondent.

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 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
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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, 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)
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“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.”

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

Where the husband is an able-bodied person, then he
cannot refuse to make the payment of maintenance to his wife
only on the ground that either he is not capable of earning or
his income is meagre.

In the present case, after considering the status of the
parties,the Court below has awarded the maintenance amount
of Rs.2,000/- per month after assessing the monthly income
of the applicant at Rs.5,000/-. By no stretch of imagination,
the maintenance amount of Rs.2,000/- per month can be said
to be on the higher side. Accordingly, this Court does not find
any infirmity or irregularity in the order passed by the Court
below.

Accordingly, the order dated order dated 07/12/2017
passed by Principal Judge, Family Court, Guna in MJCR No.
124/2016 is hereby affirmed.

This revision fails and is dismissed in limine.

(G.S. Ahluwalia)
Judge

MKB

MAHENDRA KUMAR BARIK
2018.01.24 16:55:40 +05’30’

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