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Palaniammal Vs. K. Chinnusamy


Court: Madras High Court

Bench: JUSTICE Janarthanam

Palaniammal vs K. Chinnusamy on 27 August 1994

Law Point:
Lump-sum payment evidenced by a deed. Husband’s obligation to maintain discharged.





1. The petitioner is the wife, while the respondent is the husband.

The wife instituted proceedings claiming maintenance for herself under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as against her husband, which was taken on file as M.C. No. 12/89 on the file of Judicial Magistrate, Rasipuram.

2. On receipt of process, the husband entered appearance through a Counsel of his choice and resisted the maintenance claim.

3. On consideration of the materials placed on record the Judicial Magistrate dismissed the petition.

4. The aggrieved wife filed Crl. R.C.No. 88/93 on the file of the First Additional Sessions Judge, Salem who in turn, on consideration of the materials available on record, concurring with the findings of the Trial Magistrate, dismissed the revision.

5. She resorted to the present action under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to set aside the order of learned Sessions Judge passed in the Criminal Revision case, confirming the order of the Trial Magistrate.

6. Even at the out set, I may point out that there are absolutely no merits for the entertainment of this petition. There is no pale of controversy that the marriage between the spouses took place four to five decades before and they got separated by a decree of divorce through Court in the year 1976. Subsequent to such decree, it appears the husband paid a lump sum of Rs. 5000/- to the wife towards her maintenance claim, past, present and future and the same was evidenced by a deed that came into existence on 21.5.1967. It is also not in dispute that the wife had been living with her son born through her husband all along for a period of 22 years. What she would claim in the maintenance action was that the amount paid by way of lump sum to wards her maintenance had been spent on medical expenses and she had become old and unable to maintain herself and therefore prayed for an award of maintenance.

7. The husband, on the other hand, would contend that she had invested the lump sum amount paid towards her maintenance claim in such a way as to get seizable interest from the same and that apart, she had been pursuing agricultural and other avocations jointly, along with her son, getting a seizable income and in such state of affairs it cannot be stated that she is unable to maintain herself.

8. On consideration of the evidence let in by the respective parties in projection of their claims, the Trial Magistrate had given a categorical finding that the husband’s obligation to maintain her had been discharged by making provision towards maintenance claim in a lump sum payment of Rs. 5000/- in the year 1967 itself and the said amount had been invested in a nice way to get interest, sufficient and adequate enough for her maintenance. The other finding that was given was that she was able to maintain herself from out of the earnings on agriculture and other avocation pursued by her jointly along with her son. The findings so recorded in the process of sifting of materials in the shape of evidence, oral and documentary, cannot at all stated to be the resultant product of mal or misappreciation, warranting interference.

9. The Revisional Court had also admirably done its job, adopting the same yard-stick, as had been done by the Trial Magistrate, in confirming the findings, as recorded by the Trial Magistrate. Further the payment of maintenance to the wife by way of lump sum can, by no stretch of imagination, be stated to be contracting out of the legal obligations to maintain the wife. To put it otherwise such payment is sine qua non of taking congnizance of the legal obligation of the husband to maintain the wife.

10. Top of all such lump sum payment in a sum of Rs. 5000/- paid in the year 1967 can, by no stretch of imagination, be stated to be so meagre or inadequate, so that it can be stated that by the investment of the said sum, the wife cannot meet out her requirements towards her maintenance. Looking at this case from any angle, the rejection of the claim of maintenance by the wife, both by the Trial as well as the Revisional Court, cannot at all be stated to be perverse calling for interference.

11. In this view of the matter, the petition deserves to be dismissed and the same is accordingly dismissed.

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