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Smt. Renu Awasthi Bajpai vs Ravi Kumar Bajpai on 30 January, 2018

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HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
PRINCIPAL SEAT AT JABALPUR
CRR-2320-2016
Ravi Kumar Bajpai S/o Shri Rajendra Bajpai and another…Petitioners

Versus
Smt. Renu Awashty Bajpai W/o Shri Ravi Kumar Bajpai… respondent

For the petitioners: Ms. Shobha Menon, learned Senior Advocate
with Shri D.K. Mishra, Advocate
For the respondent: Shri Shobhitaditya, Advocate

CRR-2803-2016

Smt. Renu Awashty Bajpai W/o Ravi Kumar Bajpai………Petitioner

Versus
Ravi Kumar Bajpai S/o Shri Rajendra Bajpai and another.respondents

For the petitioner : Shri Shobhitaditya, Advocate
For the respondents: Ms. Shobha Menon, learned Senior Advocate
with Shri D.K. Mishra, Advocate

Present: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sushil Kumar Palo

————————————————————————————————————

ORDER

(30/01/2018)
Heard.

Both the revision arises out of order dated 05.08.2016 passed
nd
by 2 ASJ, Hoshangabad, in criminal appeal No. 267/2015 the
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revisions involve the same facts and law. Therefore, both the
revisions are heard analogously and are decide by this common
order.

2. Revision No. 2320/2016 under Section 19(4) of the Family
Court Act, 1984 read with Section 397/401 of Cr.P.C. has been
filed by the petitioners -Ravi Kumar Bajpai and Rejendra Bajpai,
the husband and father-in-law of respondent/complainant to set
aside the order dated 05.08.2016 passed by 2nd A.S.J. Hoshangabad
in Criminal Appeal No. 267/2015 wherein the order dated
20.11.2015 passed under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act
by the learned J.M.F.C., Hoshangabad in Criminal Case No.
59/2010 has been affirmed. The learned J.M.F.C. has allowed the
respondent Rs. 10,000/- per month as maintenance and also
directed the petitioner to pay the price of the ornaments and
articles as per Ex. P-1 and P/2 documents.

3. The complainant/wife has filed Criminal Revision
2803/2016 under Section 401 read with 397 of the Cr.P.C.,
claiming enhancement of the maintenance amount granted to her,
she claimed to set aside order dated 05.08.2016, passed by 2nd
A.S.J., Hoshangabad in Criminal Appeal No. 03/2016 and request
for setting aside the order wherein the claim of the
complainant/wife for enhancement of maintenance has been
dismissed.

4. The learned appellate Court slightly modified the order
stating that if the original ornaments are returned by the
petitioners, the petitioners need not pay the value of the ornaments.

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5. The petitioners preferred this revision on the ground that the
learned appellate Court failed to appreciate that there was any
demand of dowry made by the petitioners. The
respondent/complainant has not proved ill-treatment of the
complainant. The appellate Court has also observed at paragraph
42 of the judgment that the respondent could not produce any
document with regard to her service or income, even then the
appellate Court has wrongly affirmed the order of the trial Court
by which maintenance has been granted to the tune of Rs. 10,000/-
(Rs. Ten Thousand Only) per month. The petitioners have further
contended that he has paid more than Rs. 4,00,000/- (Rs. Four Lac
Only) in the proceeding under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C.,
following the directions of the trial Court.

6. It is claimed that the complainant/wife herself quarreled with
the petitioners. She wants to reside separately and left the marital
house along with the ornaments and articles without informing the
petitioners. Therefore, the order impugned passed by the learned
J.M.F.C. and the appellate Court, i.e. orders dated 05.08.2016 and
20.11.2015 respectively, are not good in the eyes of law.

7. Per contra, learned counsel for the respondent submits that it
is not disputed that the respondent is the legally wedded wife.
Immediately after the marriage, the relationship of the complaint
with her husband became estranged. Because of which the
respondent though wanted to live with the petitioner No. 1 but for
demand of dowry and harassments, she had to live separately. She
was harassed and tortured in the family of in-laws. The evidence
clearly indicates that there is harassment. She was a working
woman and was earning Rs. 20,000/- (Rs. Twenty Thousand Only)
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per month. But the in-laws of the complainant, insisted her not to
work. Therefore, on their saying she left the job. Hence, the
complainant who was earning Rs. 20,000/-(Rs. Twenty Thousand
Only) per month require to maintain herself in that standard.
Therefore, Rs. 10,000/-(Rs. Ten Thousand Only) per month is not
sufficient amount for her. The complainant has filed Criminal
Revision No. 2803/2016 for enhancement of the maintenance.

8. The complainant/wife has claimed that her husband-Ravi
Kumar was paid Rs. 5,00,000/-( Rs. Five Lac Only) at the time of
marriage besides the ornament and home appliances (Ex. P-1 and
Ex. P-2). She also claimed that the husband/non-applicant is
earning Rs. 75,375/- (Rs. Seventy Five Thousand Three Hundred
Seventy Five Only) per month while maintenance has been
awarded only at the rate Rs. 10,000/- (Rs. Ten Thousand Only) per
month which ought to have been Rs. 20,000/- (Rs. Twenty
Thousand Only) per month. However no document in this regard
has been filed by the complainant/wife.

9. Much stress has been given by the counsel for the petitioners
that at paragraph 42 of the order of the revisional Court it is held
that the respondent has not proved that she was working and was
earning Rs. 20,000/- (Rs. Twenty Thousand Only) per month.
Despite that, maintenance has been granted to the complainant @
Rs. 10,000/- (Rs. Ten Thousand Only) per month. It is also held
that there has been contradictions in the statements of the
complainant-Renu Awasthy Bajpai, her mother Urmila and her
father/Girija Shankar Awasty, though held to be not reliable, yet
the learned trial Court and the appellate Court have held that the
value of the ornaments are to be returned to the complainant.

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10. On perusal of the evidence, it is found that marriage was
solemnized on 22.02.2008. Subsequently, the complainant was
taunted for not bringing enough dowry. The “streedhan” or the
items which she received at the time of the marriage were also
taken away by the petitioners. The evidence also show that the bill
Ex. P-1 for purchase of ornaments and bill Ex. P-2 purchase of the
domestic appliances have been proved.

11. Even if the complainant/wife is not serving, even then, the
petitioner/husband cannot escape the liability of maintenance. The
inherent and fundamental principle behind maintenance is for
amelioration of the financial state of affairs as well as the mental
agony and anguish, that a woman suffers when she is compelled to
leave her marital home. Statue commands that there has to be some
accepted arrangement, so that, she can sustain herself. The
sustenance does not mean and can never allow to mean merely
survival. The 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. She is
entitled to lead a life in the similar manner as she would have
leaved in her house of her husband. And that is where the status
and economic strata of the husband comes into play and that is
where the legal obligation of the husband become a permanent
one. The maintenance has to be adequate so that the wife came live
with dignity, as she would have leaved in her matrimonial home.
She cannot be compelled to be a destitute or baggar. Therefore, if
the Court has shown sympathy to the wife in granting maintenance
at the rate of Rs. 10,000/- (Rs. Ten Thousand Only) per month,
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keeping in view her status and the present inflation, it can not be
considered to be excessive.

12. In this regard the salary of the petitioner/husband has to be
taken into account. The revisional Court has ascertained that the
income of the husband was Rs. 35,000/- (Rs. Thirty Five Thousand
Only) per month. Therefore, Rs. 10,000/- (Rs. Ten Thousand
Only) which is less than 1/3 of the salary per month is not in the
higher side.

13. So far as the amount of the ornaments and home appliances
are concerned, the revisional Court has considered at paragraph 43
that if the items are returned it would be well and good but if the
same is not returned the value of the goods of Ex. P-1 and Ex.P-2
should be returned but value of gold at the relevant time was
Rs.11,800/-(Rs. Eleven Thousand Eight Hundred Only) per 10
gram. Whereas during November-2015 the value of gold has
become Rs. 24,500/- (Rs. Twenty Four Thousand and Five
Hundred Only) per 10 gram, therefore, the total value of 1,59.237/-
gram of gold comes to Rs. 3,90,131/- and this value be refunded.

14. It would be appropriate to mention here that the value has
been calculated by the learned revisional Court arithmetically. May
be mathematically it is correct. The ornaments which was given at
the time of marriage in the year 2008, therefore, the value of old
ornaments would not be the same, as the new ornaments. This
angle of calculation was not taken into account. Hence it would be
appropriate to order that the value of ornaments can be assessed as
Rs. 3,50,000/-(Rs. Three Lac Fifty Thousand Only). Therefore,
instead of Rs. 3,90,131/- (Rs. Three Lac Ninety Thousand and One
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Hundred Thirty One Rs. Only) a some of Rs 3,50,000/- (Rs. Three
Lac Fifty Thousand Only) in the head of ornament, would be
appropriate. Besides the petitioner is entitled to receive Rs.12,300/-
of the value of the goods.

15. The complainant/wife failed to prove the income of the non-
applicant/husband except the oral evidence, nothing concrete has
been submitted in this regard. Though it is limpid that the
obligation of the husband is on high pedestal when the question of
maintenance of wife arises. When the woman leaves the
matrimonial home the situation is a 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-ness carried has brought her the
misfortune.

16. At this stage, the only comfort that the law can impose is
that the husband is bound to give money to re-comfort her. That is
only the soothing legal balm. For she cannot allow to resign to
destiny. Therefore, it felt necessary to grant of maintenance.

17. In absence of a documentary evidence the trial Court as well
as the appellate Court has estimated the income of husband to Rs.
35,000/- (Rs. Thirty Five Thousand) per month is reasonable and
appreciable. That being so, it is obligation of the husband to
maintain his wife. He cannot be permitted to take a plea that he is
unable to maintain the wife due to financial constraint as long as
he is a capable of earning. But it cannot be an amount to lead a
luxurious life. The amount of maintenance should be for the
sustenance only. A husband must not atarve himself in order to
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maintain his wife. His capacity to work is material. Therefore, the
maintenance at the rate of Rs.10,000/- (Rs. Ten Thousand Only)
per month to the complainant/wife is proper and sufficient.

18. In view of the above discussion and the principles discussed
above it would be appropriate to record the consequential
conclusion that Criminal Revision No. 2320/2016 is partly allowed
the value of ornament is reduced to Rs. 3,50,000/- (Rs. Three Lac
Fifty Thousand Only) and Criminal Revision No. 2830/2016 is
dismissed.

(SUSHIL KUMAR PALO)
JUDGE
L.R.

Digitally signed by LALIT
SINGH RANA
Date: 2018.01.31 22:35:12

-08’00’
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