Himachal Pradesh High Court Cancels Matrimonial Allowance Due to COVID Pandemic

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The present petition was filed in the Himachal Pradesh High Court challenging the enhancement of compensation by Additional Sessions Judge, Sirmaur, Nahan to the wife and the minor child of the petitioner.

Facts

The petitioner and his wife were divorced by a decree dated 12.05.2017 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Sirmaur District, Nahan in HMA No.5-N/3 of 2014/13. The Court ordered compensation of Rs. 3000/- and Rs. 4000/- to the petitioner’s wife and daughter respectively. Feeling dissatisfied with the less maintenance allowance, the wife again filed Criminal Revision Petition No.10-N/10 of 2018 under Section 397, Cr.PC in the Sessions Court, Sirmaur, Nahan. In Vide Order dated 10.08.2018 the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Sirmaur District, Nahan enhanced the compensation to Rs.5000/- each.

The petitioner came before this Court because he and his mother were suffering from a severe medical problem and he had no source of income and was unable to get medical treatments and therefore, had no sufficient means to pay enhanced compensation.

Contentions

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The petitioner contended that his only challenge was the enhancement of the said amount to Rs.5000/- each per month to both the respondents. Further, the petitioner had taken the ground that he was relocated to Bengaluru and could not get regular income and his mother was suffering from various old-age ailments and he had no money even to give proper treatment to his mother. Moreover, the petitioner applied Section 482 Cr. P.C placing the record of the medical issues which was registered as Cr. MP No.2394 of 2019. The records showed that the petitioner was suffering from a disease named oesophagal achalasia cardia. Further, he stated in an affidavit that due to relocation to Bengaluru, he could not get a regular source of income. Be that as it may, this Court could lose sight of the ground reality that the Covid-19 pandemic had taken its toll on employment opportunities. Given the unemployment, it was very difficult to say that wages did not fall coupled with the fact that the petitioner needed to take care of his medical condition as well as to give treatment to his mother.

Court’s Observation

The Hon’ble Court opined that for the time being and keeping in view the rights conferred under Section 127, Cr. P.C, the petitioner had no sufficient means to pay the enhanced maintenance.

Court’s Judgment

The Court disposed of the enhancement of Rs. 5000/- to both the respondents for the time being. Therefore, the petition was allowed in the aforesaid terms.

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Click here for the judgement.


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