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Bench: JUSTICE H.S. Brar


Law Point:
Both father as well as mother in service. Equally liable to support and maintain minor. Bear expenses in equal shares.





This is Revision Petition under Section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in which a prayer has been made to revise the order dated 24.8.1992 passed by the Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Chandigarh vide which he awarded maintenance of Rs. 200/- per month to the petitioner Kumari Saloni minor daughter of Smt. Kusamlata as well as Surjit Kumar Ratti-respondent. Marriage was solemnised between Smt. Kusamlata mother of the petitioner and Surjit Kumar Ratti-respondent on 26.8.1982 according to Hindu rites and ceremonies. After discussing the whole evidence, learned Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Chandigarh held that both the mother as well as father are in service and thus, are equally liable to support and maintain the petitioner and it was under these circumstances that order of payment of Rs. 200/- per month as maintenance to the child Kumari Saloni was passed. It has been stated in the petition that amount of maintenance granted by the learned Magistrate is on a very lower side.

2. Though according to the averments made in the petition, it is stated that Surjit Kumar Ratti father of Kumari Saloni-petitioner is earning about Rs. 3500/- per month as salary and receiving rent of Rs. 6000/- approximately from three storeyed 10 Marias house in Sector 21-C, Chandigarh. Despite this, Surjit Kumar Ratti-respondent is deriving income from 10 Acres of land which he owns at Bharowal, Tehsil Garhshankar, District Hoshiarpur, but the learned Magistrate has arrived at a conclusion that Surjit Kumar Ratti father of the girl is drawing more than Rs. 2,000/- per month as his salary which is clear from the Income Tax Statement (Annexure P-1). I do not want to go into the question as to whether respondent-Surjit Kumar Ratti has got more income than Rs. 2,000/- per month. I take it on the basis of the conclusion drawn by the learned Magistrate that the salary of the respondent is Rs. 2,000/- per month.

3. It has been stated in the petition which is supported by an affidavit that the petitioner Kumari Saloni is studying in Class-IV in Mount Carmel School, Sector 46, Chandigarh where the monthly fee and transported charges are Rs.335/- per month besides other miscellaneous expenses of Rs. 200/- per month on her studies/Project work etc.

4. The learned Counsel for the respondent has neither chosen to file written statement nor has disputed the above averments at the time of arguments. He has, however, filed an application (Cr. M. 12285/1994) to contend that the present revision petition is not maintainable being barred by limitation. The learned Counsel loses sight of the fact that the application (Cr. M. No. 3746/1994) filed by the petitioner stands already allowed vide order dated 9.5.1994 and the delay in filing the present revision petition has been condoned.

5. Leaving aside all these averments, in ordinary circumstances, the expenses on a child which belongs to such a family whose parents are undisputably deriving more than Rs. 4,000/- per month as income, should not be less than Rs. 1,000/- per month in any case. When the learned Magistrate after taking notice of the factual position in this case has held that both the father and mother are equally liable to support and maintain the petitioner, then they should bear the expenses for the maintenance of the child in equal shares. I think it will be in the interest of justice if the respondent-father is ordered to pay maintenance of Rs. 400/- per month to the petitioner.

6. In this view of the matter, this revision petition is allowed and the order dated 24.8.1992 of the Judicial Magistrate/Chandigarh is modified to the extent that maintenance of Rs. 200/- per month awarded to the petitioner is enhanced to Rs. 400/- per month. This enhanced maintenance shall be paid by the respondent to the child Kumari Saloni with effect from the date of the order of Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Chandigarh i.e., 24.8.192.

Revision allowed.

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