”HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
S.B. Criminal Misc(Pet.) No. 96 / 2014
Pawan Kumar s/o Sh. Bajrang Lal by caste Mali, Aged about 39
years, Resident of Ward No.26, Moti Singh Ki Dhani, District-
1. State of Rajasthan.
2. Smt. Sarla W/o Pawan Kumar D/o Nand Lal, by caste Mali,
Resident of Ward No.4, Churu.
3. Bhawani Shankar S/o Pawan Kumar (minor), through
respondent no.2 mother.
For Petitioner(s) : Mr. Baljit Sandhu.
For Respondent(s) : Mr. Deepak Choudhary, PP.
Mr. Pritam Solanki.
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANDEEP MEHTA
Date of Judgment: 03/04/2018
By way of the instant misc. petition under Section 482
Cr.P.C., the petitioner Pawan Kumar has approached this Court for
challenging the order dated 20.11.2013 passed by the learned
Additional Sessions Judge, Churu in revision, affirming the order
dated 15.09.2011 passed by the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate,
Churu in Misc. Case No.66/2002 granting maintenance to the
respondents Smt. Sarla, being the wife and son of the petitioner
and Kumari Mamta, his daughter (who is not a party respondent in
the instant proceedings).
On the previous date of hearing i.e. on 10.01.2018, this
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Court had directed the learned counsel to keep their respective
parties present in the Court so as to explore the possibility of
amicable settlement. The respondent Smt. Sarla was present in
the Court at the time of arguments but, the petitioner has failed to
appear. Thus, the final arguments were heard on merits.
Learned counsel Shri Sandhu representing the petitioner
vehemently urged that as a matter of fact ,the respondent Smt.
Sarla has intentionally abandoned the matrimonial home without
any justification and thus, she is not entitled to claim any
maintenance whatsoever from the petitioner herein. He further
submitted that the respondent No.3 Bhawani Shankar, being the
son of the petitioner and Smt. Sarla, has attained majority and
thus, he is not entitled to claim any maintenance whatsoever. He
further urged that in the statement of Smt. Sarla recorded by the
learned Magistrate, she has admitted that she did not desire to go
and live in her matrimonial home. He further urged that the
criminal case lodged by the respondent Smt. Sarla against the
petitioner and his family members for the offences under Section
498A, 406 and 120B IPC resulted into their acquittal vide
judgment dated 14.09.2006. Likewise, the divorce petition filed by
Smt. Sarla against the petitioner on the ground of cruelty was also
dismissed by the learned District Judge, Churu vide judgment
dated 22.02.2008. He further pointed out that in her statement
recorded in proceedings under the Guardians and Wards Act,
registered in the court of District Judge, Jhunjhunu, Smt. Sarla
admitted that she used to work as a teacher and was earning
livelihood in this manner. On these grounds, learned counsel Shri
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Sandhu urged that the orders passed by the courts below are
absolutely illegal and perverse and deserve to be set aside.
Per contra, Shri Pritam Solanki learned counsel representing
the respondents vehemently urged that the petitioner started
harassing Smt Sarla soon after their marriage. Unwarranted
fetters were put on her freedom. She as well as her children were
not provided food or means of sustenance . The prior proceedings
under Section 125 Cr.P.C. and those under Sections 498A and 406
IPC were undertaken on genuine grounds but the petitioner got
the same terminated through compromise after giving false
assurances. However, he continued his cruel behavior with the
respondents whereupon, fresh proceedings under Section 125
Cr.P.C. came to be lodged. That Smt Sarla categorically denied
having any source of sustained livelihood/ income. On these
grounds, he craved dismissal of the petition .
I have given my thoughtful consideration to the arguments
advanced at Bar and have gone through the impugned orders as
well as the material available on record.
It is not in dispute that the respondents were turned out by
the petitioner from the matrimonial house way back in the year
2002 and since then, they are living in virtual dereliction. Even
though, the order of maintenance was passed way back in the
year 2011 the petitioner has not paid a single penny to his wife
and children. Whilst entertaining the instant misc. petition, this
Court was compelled to direct, vide order dated 17.01.2014, that
the petitioner shall clear off the maintenance dues payable to the
children. Only under compulsion of the said order did the
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petitioner made payment of a sum of Rs.87,000/- to his two minor
children. However, till date, not a single penny of maintenance has
been paid to the wife. During his evidence, the petitioner claimed
that Sarla used to earn livelihood by doing stitching jobs, etc. But
now, a plea has been taken that she is having substantial earning
by working in a private school. However, on perusal of the orders
passed by the trial court as well as the revisional court, it is
apparent that during cross-examination of Sarla in the present
proceedings, no suggestion was given to her regarding she having
any significant source of income by teaching in any private school.
So far as the rejection of the divorce petition and the acquittal of
the accused in the criminal case is concerned, those decisions
cannot have any significant bearing on fate of the present
application because legal obligation of a husband to maintain his
wife has no correlation with his exhoneration in proceedings under
Sections 498A and 406 IPC. Likewise, mere rejection of the
divorce petition is also not relevant for deciding the present issue
inasmuch as, the only finding given in the judgment dated
22.02.2008 passed by the learned District Judge, Churu is that the
respondent failed to prove the allegation of cruelty against the
petitioner. However, it is an undisputed fact that the respondent
is forced to live out of the matrimonial home with her children for
the last more than 15 years and the petitioner has not provided
any subsistence to them. Even the maintenance awarded to the
children by the trial court was honoured and paid only after this
Court affirmatively directed the petitioner to do so.
In view of the above discussion, this Court is of the firm
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opinion that the applicants i.e. respondent being the petitioner’s
wife Smt. Sarla, son Bhawani Shankar (till he attained majority)
and daughter Kumari Mamtesh (till she is married), are entitled to
claim and receive maintenance from the petitioner. I find no
shortcoming, either factual or legal, in the impugned orders dated
20.11.2013 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge,
Churu in revision affirming the order dated 15.09.2011 passed by
the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Churu, so as to cause
interference therein while exercising inherent powers of this
Court conferred by Section 482 Cr.P.C.
As a consequence of the above discussion, the instant misc.
petition deserves to be dismissed.
However, it is made clear that the order of maintenance qua
the respondent Bhanwani Shankar shall remain effective only till
the date of his attaining the majority. Furthermore, Kumari
Mamtesh (though not a party respondent in these proceedings)
will be entitled to claim maintenance from the petitioner till she is
With these observations and directions, the instant misc.
petition is dismissed as being devoid of merit.
(SANDEEP MEHTA), J.