125 CrPC- 'Granting Interim Maintenance Is Similar To Giving First Aid; Prevents Wives & Children From Vagrancy'

125 CrPC- 'Granting Interim Maintenance Is Similar To Giving First Aid; Prevents Wives & Children From Vagrancy'

Subhash Chand Vs Krishani Devi

Himachal Pradesh HC

20/09/2021

CRIMINAL MISC. PETITION (MAIN) U/S 482 CrPC

About/from the judgment:

The High Court has observed that granting interim maintenance under Chapter IX of CrPC is like giving first aid which prevents wives and children from various modes of vagrancy and it's consequences.

The Court observed thus:

"Granting interim maintenance is similar to giving first aid. Chapter IX of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, provides a quick remedy by a summary procedure to protect the applicant against starvation and tide over immediate difficulties by a deserted wife or children to secure some reasonable sum by way of maintenance."

"The foundation of the measures of social Justice enacted by the Legislature lay beneath the sweep of Article 15 (3) of the Constitution of India. It fulfills the concept of a welfare State in a vibrant democracy by safeguarding wives and children and preventing them from the modes of vagrancy and its consequences," it said.

The observation came while hearing a husband's plea seeking to quash the order of Family Court, upheld by the Sessions Court, directing him to pay monthly interim maintenance of Rs. 2,000 to his wife and children.

It was the wife's case that she was a widow at the time of the wedding, and that on the Petitioner's persuasion, she agreed to marry him. On the other hand, the petitioner husband argued that the woman has been drawing benefits, which is given to widows, and as such the marriage was never solemnized between the two.

The maintenance was ordered after the wife, also a mother of three children, had moved an application under Section 125 CrPC alleging that the petitioner withdrew giving her financial assistance and would spend his money on liquor.

Considering the provision and relevant judgments on the subject, the Court opined that the Proviso to S. 125 CrPC empowers the Magistrate to order monthly allowance for the interim maintenance and also the expenses of such proceeding during its pendency.

"Given above, it would be appropriate for the Courts to direct the person against whom an application is made under S. 125 of the Code to pay some reasonable sum by way of maintenance to the applicant pending final disposal of the application," it added.

It added that although the marriage has been challenged by the Petitioner as never solemnized, yet, it is subject to proof and in the instant petition, the Court is concerned with interim maintenance and nothing more.

The Court was therefore of the view that a prima facie case is made out for the wife to live separately and that she could not sustain financially.

However, the Court also clarified that the order shall not prohibit any of the parties to seek legal remedies under section 127 CrPC in accordance with law.

Accordingly, the petition was dismissed.

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