Chhattisgarh High Court Dismisses Revision Petition Whereby Applicant Prayed To Set Aside Impugned Order of Granting Maintenance to Wife

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Excerpt

The Court directed that in light of the fact that the applicant used to earn sufficient income, henceforth, the impugned order granting maintenance to respondent-wife was not erroneous.

Background

The Applicant had filed the present petition to challenge the legality, propriety, and correctness of an order dated 21.5.2018 passed by the Family Court at Raipur, whereby the application of Respondent under Section 125, CrPC was allowed and grant of maintenance of Rs.20,000/- per month was fixed.

Submissions before the Court

Applicant’s Submissions

It was submitted by the Learned Counsel appearing for Applicant, that the said order was erroneous and illegal. The applicant had earlier been granted interim maintenance of Rs.2,000/-. Subsequently, she was granted maintenance of Rs.20,000/-, which is a huge difference. After marriage, the Respondent’s wife had resided with the applicant just for 7 months. She was residing in her parental house, but without any reasonable cause. She had alleged in her application about the allegation of demand of dowry, which wasn’t proved in evidence, moreover, there was no such finding in the impugned order. Hence, the Respondent wasn’t entitled to a grant of maintenance under Section 125(4) of CrPC. Thus, the learned Family Court had committed an error in holding such entitlement. It was also submitted that the learned Family Court had erroneously considered that the applicant was a man of sufficient means. The applicant pleaded that he plays Jhunjhuna in-band party, henceforth, he would be unable to make payment of a huge amount of Rs.20,000/- per month to his wife.

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Moreover, reliance was placed on the order of the Supreme Court in the case of Deb Narayan Halder v. Smt. Anushree Halder AIR 2003. It was submitted that if the wife leaves her matrimonial home without any justifiable cause, she wasn’t entitled to maintenance. Therefore, this being a similar case, the Respondent had no entitlement for maintenance. So, the applicant prayed the revision petition must be allowed and the impugned order be set aside.

Respondent’s Submissions

Learned counsel appearing for the Respondent vehemently opposed the applicant’s submissions and submitted that the learned Family Court had not committed any error in passing the said order. The Respondent had proven her entitlement for maintenance by asserting that she was being demanded dowry by the applicant, only then she was compelled to leave her matrimonial home and live in her parental home. The respondent had henceforth, filed a complaint in Mahila Thana and the counselling procedure was taken up. Reliance was placed on the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Sunita Kachwaha and others v. Anil Kachwaha, 2014 and it was submitted that the applicant had no ground to maintain the revision petition, so it must be dismissed.

Consideration by the Court

On the basis of the evidence presented under Section 125, CrPC, it was found that the Respondent had clearly established that she was tortured by the applicant for the demand of dowry. She admitted that she had undergone open-heart surgery and this fact was known to the applicant. So, she had denied that the fact of her surgery was suppressed and this was the reason for the dispute with her husband. Asha Rao (AW-2), who was the mother of the respondent, had supported D. Shruti (AW-1) in her version. 

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Rahul Tiwari NAW-1 and Vijay Sagar Tiwari NAW-2 had stated in examination-in-chief that it was after 15 days of marriage in 2015, that the respondent disclosed that she had undergone bypass surgery. Further, that the respondent had made a false complaint in the police station. She herself didn’t want to live with the applicant. On perusal of ExD-4, the minutes of counselling proceedings, it was found that there was no mention of demand of dowry.

The learned Family Court had also not given any finding in the impugned order regarding torture due to demand of dowry, but it had been held that the cause of dispute between the applicant and respondent was that the respondent had undergone open-heart surgery and as alleged by the applicant side, its disclosure was made after 15 days of marriage. The learned Family Court had correctly held that this dispute was the reason due to which the respondent was living separately, but the applicant side had also not made any efforts to bring back the respondent. Further, the treatment of the applicant side with respondent was totally uncalled for, pointing to why she was residing with her parents. The act of the applicant side could be clearly covered under the term ‘cruelty. Hence, for such reasons, the finding of the Family Court that the respondent had sufficient reason to live separate was correct.

Moreover, it was evidence of Respondent’s side that the Applicant was a Music Director and had sufficient income from that work. Rahul Tiwari NAW-1 had stated in examination-in-chief, that he played Jhunjhuna for which he got Rs.8,000/ to Rs.10,000/- per month. For it, he had also visited foreign countries.

Court’s Directions

In light of the submissions put forth by the parties and upon the appreciation of evidence, it appeared to the Court that the vocation of the applicant was not an ordinary means of earning a livelihood, as the applicant used to receive calls and visited foreign countries which involved huge expenditure, therefore, it could be easily gathered that the applicant had sufficient income to pay the maintenance as ordered.

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Hence, the Court was of the view that the impugned order did not suffer from any infirmity, hence, this revision petition was dismissed.

Click here to read the judgment.


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