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Ravinder Yadav @ Ravi vs Vandana And Anr on 10 August, 2018

CRR(F)-282-2016 -1-

IN THE HIGH COURT FOR THE STATES OF PUNJAB AND
HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH

CRR(F) No.282 of 2016 (OM)
Date of Decision: August 10, 2018

Ravinder Yadav @ Ravi

…Petitioner

Versus

Vandana and another
…Respondents

CORAM:- HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE JAISHREE THAKUR

Present:- Mr. A.P.S. Deol, Senior Advocate with
Mr. Himmat Deol, Advocate
for the petitioner.

Mr. S.K. Aggarwal, Advocate
for respondents No.1 and 2.

Mr. P.R. Yadav, Advocate
for the applicant in CRM-18334-2018.

None for the applicant in CRM-15513-2017.

********

JAISHREE THAKUR, J.

1. This criminal revision has been filed under Section 19(4) of the

Family Courts Act, 1984 read with Sections 401 and 397 of the Code of

Criminal Procedure (for short ‘Cr.P.C.’) seeking to challenge the judgment

passed by the Family Court, Gurgaon dated 03.08.2016 allowing

maintenance to the respondents-complainants whereby, the petitioner herein

has been directed to pay a sum of ` 55,000/- per month to respondent No.1

wife and ` 25,000/- per month to respondent No.2-minor son from the date

of filing of the petition, with a further direction to clear all arrears of

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maintenance within a period of six months and to pay future maintenance on

or before the 10th of every month in the bank account of respondent No.1.

2. In brief, the facts of the case are that a marriage was

solemnized between petitioner-Ravinder Yadav and complainant-

respondent No.1 Smt.Vandana on 14.01.2004. This was third marriage for

both the parties and out of this wedlock, a male child was born on

13.11.2004. It was alleged by complainant- respondent No.1 (hereinafter

referred to as ‘the respondent’) that the marriage did not survive long, on

account of constant demand of dowry and ill treatment meted out to her at

the hands of the petitioner and his mother. It was stated that apart from the

ill treatment, the petitioner was also involved with another lady. She was

ultimately turned out of her matrimonial home on 07.06.2013 along with the

minor child. Having no independent source of income, both the respondents

filed a petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C. claiming maintenance, by alleging

that the petitioner is an agriculturist and apart from this, he is doing the

business of property dealing and is also running the guest houses at

Gurgaon and earns ` 50,000/- per month from each guest house.

3. The petition filed by the respondents was contested by the

petitioner by filing a written statement and all the allegations were denied.

4. Respondent No.1 herein appeared in the witness box and get

herself examined as PW1, while examining Sanjay Gulati as PW2, K.R.

Meena as PW3, Jagvir Singh Koyal as PW4, Sanjay Arora as PW5, Parkash

Chand as PW6 and Harish Dagar as PW7. Documents Ex.P1 to Ex.P33 and

Mark-A1 to Mark-A5 were also relied upon, including the accounts

statements of the petitioner herein. Whereas, the petitioner herein only

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examined himself as RW1.

5. After hearing both the sides and after going through the record

of the case, the District Judge, Family Court, Gurgaon by the impugned

judgment dated 03.8.2018 held respondent No.1-wife entitled to ` 55,000/-

per month and respondent No.2-minor son entitled to ` 25,000/- per month

towards maintenance.

6. Mr. A.P.S. Deol, Senior Advocate with Mr. Himmat Deol,

Advocate, counsels appearing on behalf of the petitioner contends that the

amount of maintenance as assessed is highly excessive. It was argued that

being a retired personnel from the Indian Army, he only has his pension to

support himself and the two children born out of the wedlock from his first

marriage. It is submitted that the petitioner suffered from Pulmonary

Tuberculosis Bronchitis, due to which he was discharged by the Medical

Board on 31.07.1980 with a meager disability pension and had no other

business except to assist his father in agriculture. It was further argued that

his son born from his first marriage suffered from meningitis as a child,

which had effected his right hand and leg, and therefore, he had to maintain

the said child even though he was a major. The petitioner treated the

respondent wife with care, however, she continued to misbehave, which

compelled the petitioner to leave the matrimonial home and he even filed a

petition under Section 9 of Hindu Marriage Act, which was dismissed as

withdrawn and thereafter, a petition under Sections 13(1) (ia) (ib) of the

Hindu Marriage Act has been filed against complainant-respondent No.1

herein on the ground of cruelty and desertion and the same is pending. It is

submitted that the petitioner herein had purchased a flat in the name of

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mother of complainant-respondent No.1 and the sale deed was executed on

17.06.2011.

7. Per contra, Mr. S.K. Aggarwal learned counsel appearing on

behalf of the respondents-complainants submits that the petitioner herein is

a man of substantial means and during the pendency of the present criminal

revision, had agreed to transfer 06 acres of land in District Gurgaon in

favour of his minor son (respondent No.2 herein), who is 12 years old and

also deposit adequate amount for his education for the next 10 years,

however, the said land/amount was never transferred. It is also argued that

the statement made by the petitioner in the court that he is supporting his

two minor children born from the first marriage, is patently false since the

children were being brought up by the maternal grandparents and that the

daughter had since got married. It was also submitted that the documents

produced on the record would clearly reflect that the petitioner has

sufficient means to pay the maintenance.

8. I have heard learned counsel for the parties, apart from perusing

the record of the case with their assistance.

9. There is no dispute about the fact that a marriage was

solemnized between the petitioner and respondent No.1 on 14.01.2004 and

out of this wedlock, a minor child namely Nischay-respondent No.2 was

born on 13.11.2004.

10. The sole question that arises for consideration of this court is

whether the quantum of maintenance as assessed by the Family Court,

Gurgaon is excessive or not.

11. The District Judge, Family Court, Gurgaon by the impugned

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judgment and on appreciation of evidence and documents produced on

record, came to hold that complainant-respondent No.1 is entitled to `

55,000/- per month and that respondent No.2-minor child is entitled to `

25,0000/- per month as maintenance, from the date of filing of the petition.

All the arguments, so raised before this court, were also raised before the

trial court and the same were duly considered by the trial court. The District

Judge, Family Court, Gurgaon (in para 8) has observed that the claim of the

petitioner-husband that he is surviving merely on his pension is patently

false. It was noted that pension account of petitioner , which was produced

on record as Ex.P24, did not reflect a single withdrawal made from the said

account since April 2013, which falsified the stand of the petitioner that he

is sustaining himself, his mother and two children from his first marriage,

from his pension. The trial court also noted that in his deposition as well as

in his pleadings, the petitioner has stated that both his children, who are

now adults, are living with their maternal grand parents, however, at the

time of arguments, a stand was taken that the petitioner is maintaining them

and from this conduct of the petitioner herein, the trial court observed that

the petitioner is not maintaining those children. The trial court also observed

that in his cross-examination the petitioner admitted that his daughter

studied in Mayo School for Girls at Ajmer, however, his claim that he took

money from his brother for making the payment was disbelieved, as he

failed to lead any evidence in this regard.

12. The trial court has also placed reliance upon certificate Ex.P18

issued by Sanjay Gulati, Chartered Accountant (PW2), who made an

assessment in the year 2010, in which the assets of the petitioner have been

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shown to be worth ` 9,67,32,434/-. The bank account details of the

petitioner Ex.P19 to Ex.P23 and Ex.P25 to Ex.P29 were also scrutinized by

the trial court, in which money had been received from shares or huge

amounts had been withdrawn and these accounts were closed after the filing

of the petition. The trial court further took note of the fact that there was a

clear admission by the petitioner herein that he closed the accounts with

ICICI Bank, PNB Sukhrali, SBI Mehrauli Road, Gurgaon, SBP Mini Sectt.

Gurgaon, after the filing of this petition. The trial court also noted that the

complainants herein moved two applications under Section 91 Cr.P.C.

seeking production of bank account details and property statements of the

petitioner herein, however, the petitioner denied having any bank account

or FDR other than his pension account, while also claiming that he owned

no other property except 6 acres of land in Village Badkhera. Furthermore

the trial court observed that the petitioner had very clearly tried to conceal

material facts from the court, obviously to deprive the complainants of their

rightful claim by concealing his true income and assets.

13. All allegations as raised by the counsel for the petitioner re:

cruelty at the hands of the respondent or the allegations raised by the

counsel for the respondent regarding cruelty, or whether the petitioner

herein was having an affair, are not within the purview of this court in

proceedings under Section 125 Cr.P.C. since, a petition under Section 13 of

Hindu Marriage, on the ground of cruelty and desertion is stated to be

pending between the parties. This court cannot loose sight of the fact that

in these proceedings, the question regarding quantum of maintenance is to

be dealt with, and therefore, any comment or observation if so made by this

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court with regard to the above allegations, would in all likelihood prejudice

the mind of the court below, where the petition under Section 13 of Hindu

Marriage Act is pending .

14. So far as the argument raised by the counsel for the petitioner

regarding purchasing property in the name of mother of complainant-

respondent No.1 is concerned, the same is denied by complainant while

appearing in the witness box as PW1 . The respondent relied upon Ex.R2,

which would reflect two entries of withdrawal of ` 9 lacs each. The

petitioner-husband did not lead any evidence to rebut this stand of

respondent No.1-wife. So, this contention of the petitioner-husband is not

tenable.

15. The other witnesses examined by the respondents before the

trial court, also belied the stand of the petitioner-husband that he has no

source of income except his pension. PW2 Sanjay Gulati, proved on record

certificate issued by him reflecting total assets of petitioner-husband at `

9,67,32,434.07 in the year 2010. PW3 K.R. Meena, Chief Manager, Punjab

and Sind Bank, Ram Leela Ground, Gurgaon proved on record account

statement of M/s Datara Estate, of which firm the petitioner-Ravinder is a

partner. PW4 Jagvir Singh Koyal, Senior Officer, ICICI Bank, Sector 14,

Gurgaon brought on record the documents relating to bank account of the

petitioner having an opening balance of ` 1,46,253.84 as on 01.01.2013.

Similarly, PW5 Sanjay Arora, Clerk, Punjab National Bank, Sukhrali,

brought on record the documents relating to bank account of the petitioner

having opening balance of ` 1,46,061.95 as on 01.01.2013 and again there

was no withdrawal in the said account, till the same was closed on

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19.10.2015. PW6 Parkash Chand, Customer Assistant, State Bank of India,

Mehrauli Road, Gurgaon brought on record the documents pertaining to

pension account of the petitioner, which shows that for the period from

1.1.2013 to 14.3.2016, no withdrawal had been made in the said account.

PW7 Harish Dagar, Single Window Operator, SBP, Mini Sectt. Gurgaon,

proved on record the documents showing that a sum of ` 3 lacs was

withdrawn on 08.08.2015 jointly by Ravinder and Rama and similarly, a

sum of ` 6 lacs was withdrawn on 06.08.2015. On 01.08.2015, a sum of ` 6

lacs was withdrawn through cheque by Rama.

16. During the course of his cross-examination, the petitioner while

appearing in the witness box as RW1 admitted that his daughter Nitti has

been studying in Mayo Girls School Ajmer and he had been paying her fee

regularly. He also admitted that he was doing the real estate business under

the name and style of Datarta Estate, Silokhra Mor, Sector 30, Jalvayu

Vihar, Gurgaon and had got registered the said firm with the Registrar of

Firms Ex.P30. He has also admitted that he is holder of passport and has

gone to abroad thrice. He also stated that he has not got any property in

inheritance from his father. He has also admitted that he had contested

election of the seat of Member of Parliament in the year 1999.

17. During the course of pendency of the instant criminal revision

in this court, respondent No.1 claimed that the petitioner was owner of vast

properties and had also purchased immovable properties in the name of his

mother and sister. A list of the said properties was furnished to the court.

The State of Haryana was directed to conduct a verification through the

Investigating Officer of the case, as to the veracity of the statement that had

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been made. As per the status report filed, petitioner Ravinder is owner or

shareholder in the following properties;

(i) owner in possession of 1/4th share of Killa No.34/1/2 and

34/10/3(0-8) Gair Mumkin plot and baara in the revenue estate of Village

Silokhra and value of the said property is assessed to be ` 2 crores by the

architect and valuer Sh. Tarif Singh Koshal (property mentioned at Sr. No.1

of the list filed);

(ii) having 976/3514 share of total rakba 175 kanal 14 marla, which

comes to 48 kanal 16 marlas within the revenue estate of village Ratikanno

Abaad alias Badkhera, Tehsil Sohna, District Gurugram (property

mentioned at Sr. No.7 of the list filed).

18. Further, as per the status report filed by the State of Haryana,

the mother of the petitioner namely Rama Devi is owner of one Babbrak

Shah Babur in village Kadipur, Gurugram and the value of the said house

has been assessed at ` 1.5 crores by Sh. Tarif Singh Koshal, Architect

(property mentioned at Sr. No.4 of the list filed). She is also owner of

House No.531, Sector 31, Gurugram and value of the said house has been

assessed to be at ` 1.5 crores (property mentioned at Sr. No.8 of the list

filed). Apart from this, Rekha Yadav, sister of the petitioner is owner of

Flat No.E-105, Sector 15-II, Gurugram, which is valued to be ` 80 lacs

(property mentioned at Sr. No.7 of the list filed) and she is also owner of

commercial property having area of 325 sq. yards in the village Kadipur and

collector rate of the same has been assessed to be ` 28,900/- per sq. yards

for the year 2016-17 (property mentioned at Sr. No.9 in the list filed).

Whereas, properties mentioned at Sr. No.3, 5 and 6 of the list filed did not

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belong to petitioner or his family members.

19. Section 125 Cr.P.C has been enacted as a measure of social

Justice to ensure that a wife, minor child or old-age parents are maintained

and not subjected to vagrancy and destitution. Grant of maintenance has

been perceived as a measure of social Justice by the courts and the said

section falls within the Constitutional sweep of Article 15 (3) reinforced by

Article 39 of the Constitution of India. By providing a simple, speedy but

limited relief, the legislation seeks to ensure that the neglected wife and

children are not left destitute and thereby driven to a life of vagrancy,

immorality and crime for their substance.

20. From a reading of the evidence led, documents produced on the

record and the status report filed, it is abundantly clear that the petitioner

herein is not dependent only on his pension, as claimed by him, since no

withdrawal have been made from the said account. It is also abundantly

clear that mother of the petitioner herein is a person of independent means,

having substantial property in her name and therefore not dependent upon

the petitioner. As per the statement of the chartered accountant, the

petitioner had immovable assets worth ` 9,67,32,434/-. The pension

account was not utilized which is indicative of the fact that the petitioner

had other funds averrable to him. The petitioner was maintaining different

accounts in different banks (as discussed above), however, closed the same

during the pendency of the present litigation in an attempt to hide his

financial worth. The petitioner was also doing the real estate business under

the name of style of Datara Estate in Gurgaon. In order to avoid his liability

to maintaining the respondents, the petitioner did not disclose his assets

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despite two applications filed under Section 91 Cr.P.C. This clearly reflects

that the petitioner was obstructive. In this background, this court has no

hesitation in endorsing the observation of the trial court that the petitioner

herein has very obviously and actively tried to mislead the court by not

only making false averments, but also by concealing his true income and

assets.

21. The respondents herein are the wife and minor child of the

petitioner and would definitely be entitled to maintenance, as claimed by

them. Except, the said respondents, he does not have any other liability. The

son and daughter of the petitioner from his first marriage are not residing

with the petitioner and they are residing with their maternal grand parents

and the petitioner is not maintaining them. The daughter has since got

married. Therefore, this court can easily conclude that the petitioner who is

the owner of aforementioned properties in his name; having visited abroad

thrice; also contested the election of Member of Parliament in the year

1999; whose daughter had studied in Mayo Girls School, Ajmer, one of the

reputed and costly schools; and who himself got his son, respondent No.2

Nishchay admitted in Shri Ram School, Aravali in the year 2013, cannot by

any stretch of imagination, be said to be a person of meager means, or that

the maintenance is excessive.

22. It would also be pertinent to mention, while disposing of this

petition, that not only did the petitioner offer to transfer land and take care

of the minor’s education for the next ten years ( which did not fructify) but

he also made an offer to settle the respondents in an apartment and purchase

one for them. The offers that were brought forth were totally unacceptable

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as per the status of the family, being one roomed flat and that to in an

unsafe/unsavory neighbourhood or a flat which was incomplete. The

conduct of the petitioner itself showed that an attempt was being made to

delay the proceedings.

23. Apart from above, during the pendency of the instant criminal

revision, criminal miscellaneous application dated 04.05.2017 bearing No.

CRM-15513-2013 was preferred by Rajeev Yadav, brother of the petitioner

herein, for impleading him as respondent No.3 alleging that both the parties

herein are in collusion with each other trying to create complications so that

they may extract money from the applicant and his family. Thereafter,

criminal miscellaneous application dated 15.05.2018 bearing No.CRM-

18334-2018 came to be filed by Rama Devi, mother of the petitioner herein,

for impleading her as respondent No.4, with the further prayer for dismissal

of application of proposed respondent No.3-Rajeev Yadav, alleging that

said applicant Rajeev Yadav is hand in glove with respondent No.1 herein.

24. This court does not deem it necessary to go into the allegations

raised in the aforesaid two applications, which came to be filed after the

respondent-State filed status report on 05.04.2017, in response to the list of

the properties of the petitioner herein submitted by complainant-respondent

No.1. If both the applicants have any grievance regarding their rights in any

of the property, they can avail of their remedy in accordance with law. The

applicants are not necessary parties in the lis which pertains to proceedings

initiated under Section 125 Cr.P.C.

25. In view of the foregoing discussion, this court is of the

considered view that there is no merit in the instant criminal revision and

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the same is hereby dismissed with costs of ` 30,000/-. The petitioner herein

is directed to clear that arrears of maintenance within a period of three

months from today. Record of the trial court be sent back.

(JAISHREE THAKUR)
August 10, 2018 JUDGE
vijay saini

Whether speaking/reasoned Yes/No
Whether reportable Yes/No

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