Read Order: Lovedeep Singh v. Gurpreet Kaur 

Monika Rahar 

Chandigarh, May 05, 2022: While dealing with a case wherein the husband challenged the maintenance awarded by the Family Court, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the provisions of Section 125 Cr.P.C. are there to prevent destitution and vagrancy and that merely because the wife has a Masters Degree, she can not be denied the benefit of maintenance as the husband is legally and morally responsible to look after his wife and children.

In this case, the petitioner approached the High Court by way of filing the present revision petition impugning the order of the Family Court whereby maintenance of Rs. 2,500/- per month from the date of filing of the petition till the date of the order i.e. March 7, 2022, and thereafter @ Rs.3,600/- per month from the date of passing of that order, was awarded. 

The marriage between the petitioner-husband and respondent-wife took place on November 26, 2016, as per Sikh rites. After their marriage, matrimonial discord took place between them and as a result, she left her matrimonial home and later filed a petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C. for a grant of maintenance to her. 

It was pleaded by the respondent that she had no source of income to maintain herself nor any movable or immovable property in her name and that the petitioner was doing business of medicines and was earning Rs. 50,000/- per month. 

The husband denied the allegations of the respondent-wife of spending Rs.20 lacs in their marriage. Also denied was the allegation that he took istridhan, gold articles etc. The allegations of demand of dowry and taunting were also denied.

The case of the husband was that the petitioner was working as a Helper in Kisan Medicals and was getting a salary of Rs.4,000/- per month. It was submitted on his behalf that the Family Court drew a wrong conclusion in awarding maintenance to the tune of Rs. 2,500/- per month from the date of filing of the petition till March 7, 2022, and Rs. 3,600/- per month from the date of passing the said order. 

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the respondent-wife levelled false and frivolous allegations of harassment, cruelty and demand of dowry. It was his case that the wife was never satisfied with her marriage with the petitioner and she deserted the petitioner of her own. Thus, he argued that in view of Section 125(4) Cr.P.C. as the wife herself left the matrimonial home without any rhyme and reason, she was not entitled to any maintenance as awarded by the Family Court. 

Further, he also submitted that the respondent-wife was well educated having a Masters degree in Hindi and her father was working as a Clerk with a practising Lawyer. Hence, he contended that the Family Court illegally struck off the defence of the petitioner due to which he was prevented from leading his evidence and with this, he concluded his case for setting aside the award of maintenance. 

At the very outset, after reiterating the admitted fact, the the Bench of Justice Rajesh Bhardwaj observed that there was nothing on record showing that the respondent-wife deserted the petitioner without any rhyme and reason. Also, on the contention of the petitioner regarding the education qualification of his wife, the Court opined, 

“The other submission of learned counsel for the petitioner that the respondent-wife is well educated and MA in Hindi and thus, she is not entitled to the maintenance, is without any merit.”

Further, the Court held that the husband being an able-bodied man and as per the law settled by the Supreme Court in a plethora of judgments, he is legally and morally responsible to look after his wife and children. 

Regarding the petitioner’s submission of striking his defence, the Court was of the considered opinion that this contention carried no merit as the petitioner never challenged the order of the Family Court by virtue of which his defence was struck off. 

“Once, the petitioner himself has chosen not to assail the same, the order becomes final and the grievance made by the petitioner has no legal sanctity”, asserted Justice Bhardwaj.  

Further, on the object of Section 125 Cr.P.C., the Court held that Section 125 Cr.P.C. is made to prevent destitution and vagrancy and that in view of the judicial precedent set by the Supreme Court in the case of Rajnesh v. Neha, there is no straight-jacket formula for granting maintenance, however, the same depends on various factors like the status of the parties; the independent income and property of the claimant etc. 

Thus, weighing the facts and circumstances of the case on the anvil of law settled, the Court found that the maintenance granted to the wife in view of the income of the petitioner was reasonable and it suffered from no illegality. 

Thus, in the overall facts and circumstances of the case, the Court found no infirmity in the order of the Family Court. 

Petition was dismissed. 

0 CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment