Read Order: Sachin Sood v. Meenakshi Sood

LE Staff

Chandigarh, October11,2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed that during the pendency of the litigation, the petitioner-husband shall pay the maintenance amount and reiterated that rules and procedures are hand-maids of justice and both the parties should be given adequate opportunities to defend their litigation

This Revision Petition had been filed under Article 227 of the Constitution of India for setting aside the order dated September 8,2021, passed by the Additional Principal Judge, Family Court at Hoshiarpur whereby on account of only part-payment being made on account of maintenance of Rs.15,500 and Rs.2000 as costs imposed having been paid, the application for striking off the defence of the petitioner-husband was allowed. 

It was noticed that he had availed three opportunities but had still not made the full payment. 

A perusal of the paperbook showed that by order dated January 11,2018, Rs.4000 per month was fixed as maintenance pendente lite on account of the fact that though the respondent-wife was also earning salary of Rs.8000 per month and she had a minor child also to support.

Counsel submitted that the drastic order should not have been passed and more costs could have been imposed and by striking off the defence of the petitioner, he would be prejudiced since the case is now fixed for his evidence.

On September 23,2021, counsel had been asked to produce the demand draft of Rs.60,000 in favour of the respondent-Meenakshi Sood in order to show his bonafides. Requisite demand draft was produced. 

In such circumstances, the Bench of Justice G.S.Sandhawalia was of the opinion that the reason for striking off the defence had now been nullified and if the said amount is paid to the respondent-wife, it would be for her benefit and the benefit of their child from the marriage. 

“It is settled principle that rules and procedures are hand-maids of justice and both the parties should be given adequate opportunities to defend their litigation”, stated the Bench.

Thus, in such circumstances, the Court was of the opinion that no useful purpose would be served by calling upon the respondent to contest this litigation.

While allowing the present revision petition and setting aside the impugned order in question, the Bench directed that the original demand draft be sent to the Registrar (Judicial) of this Court, for onward transmission to the Family Court at Hoshiarpur, for payment to the respondent-wife, after retaining photocopy of the same on record.

 It was also made clear that during the pendency of the litigation, petitioner shall pay the maintenance amount by the 7th day of each month, by tendering the same by way of demand draft in the Family Court at Hoshiarpur and the Court added that in case of any default, the impugned order shall come back into force.

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