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Bench: JUSTICE Ashok Parihar

KAMLESH Vs. SITARAM 27 July 2004

Law Point:
Wife not able to maintain herself : Word “maintain” used under Section 125, Criminal Procedure Code to be taken in broader sense that petitioner should be able to maintain herself decently to live comfortable life, not necessary luxurious life : Maintenance cannot be denied to wife on ground that she is able to maintain herself.





An application under Section 125, Cr.P.C. was filed by the petitioner before the Trial Court. While allowing the maintenance to the daughter, the Trial Court dismissed the application of the petitioner vide order dated 18.9.1998, mainly on the ground that the petitioner wife is able to maintain herself and further she has been deliberately and intentionally not living with the respondent husband. A further revision filed before the revisional Court by the petitioner was also dismissed vide order dated 12.5.1999. Hence the present petition challenging both the above orders impugned, denying maintenance to the petitioner wife.

2. As has come on record, two real sisters were married in the same family to two brothers respectively. The younger sister of the petitioner, who was married to younger brother of respondent husband, died and on a charge-sheet been filed against the husband of the younger sister of the petitioner and brother of the respondent husband after conviction has also been sentenced accordingly for 10 years imprisonment by the Trial Court. The trial against other in-laws in the same incident is alleged to still pending before the Trial Court. Under such conditions, there was no option for the petitioner to leave the house of her in-laws with her minor daughter. There is also no proof that the petitioner is able to maintain herself. The word ‘maintain’ used under Section 125, Cr.P.C., has to be taken in the broader sense, inasmuch as that the petitioner should be able to maintain herself decently to live a comfortable life, not necessarily a luxurious life.

3. After having considered entire facts and circumstances, looking to the nature of allegations made, in my opinion, the maintenance cannot be denied to the petitioner wife on such flimsy grounds.

Accordingly, the petition is allowed. Both the orders impugned, referred above, passed by the Courts below, so far as denying maintenance to the petitioner wife, are quashed and set aside. The petitioner wife is held entitled to get maintenance of Rs. 500/- per month from the date of order of the Trial Court i.e., 18.9.1998 and Rs. 1,500/- per month w.e.f. 24.9.2001, the date when necessary amendments were made in the statute in regard to the amount of the maintenance. The monthly payment, as ordered above, be paid on or before 15th of each month and arrears be paid within three months from today. The petitioner is also allowed a cost of Rs. 2,000/- which may be paid by the respondent husband along with the arrears as ordered above.

4. A copy of this order may be sent to the Trial Court as also respondent. Record be sent back.

Petition allowed.

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