Husband Is Morally and Legally Bound To Maintain His Wife and Child: Calcutta High Court

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Excerpt

The Calcutta High Court on 8th April restored the interim monetary relief to be payable to the wife and her child as mandatory. While the Court showed consideration due to the poor financial condition of the husband in the second revision petition.

Facts

In CRR No.3508 of 2019, the Wife (Petitioner) was the victim of both physical and mental torture by her Husband/Respondent. The husband was employed at his sister’s business in Elahe Designer and also owned some of the Ice Cream Parlour at Hyderabad. Moreover, they adopted a baby boy in January 2014. While in CRR No.2856 of 2019 the Respondent/husband and her mother were the Petitioners. Also, he had no earnings to maintain his wife. 

In both cases, the dispute between the parties arose due to disagreement in marriages. Thus, the Petitioners filed an application under various sections of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. The learned Metropolitan Magistrate passed an interim monetary relief order under Sections 18, 19(f), 20(1)(d) of the said Act. But the respondent/husband challenged the order and reduced the amount of interim monetary relief and rent to his wife. Thus, the aggrieved Petitioners further challenged the said order by preferring separate revisional applications.

Appellant’s Arguments

Counsel for Petitioner argued that the basic needs of Petitioner (wife) got ignored by reducing the quantum of interim monetary relief. Thus, the Petitioner prayed for the restoration of the previous interim monetary relief order passed by the Metropolitan Magistrate.

While the Respondent/Petitioner contended that he got unemployed in May 2018. Hence, earned much less than the income of his wife. Thus, he pleaded his financial incapacity to maintain his wife.

Respondent’s Arguments

The Respondent/Husband submitted that he cannot afford to pay interim monetary relief and rent for alternative accommodation for his wife and child.

Court’s Observations

The Hon’ble Justice Bibek Chaudhuri ruled that the husband held a moral as well as legal responsibility to maintain his wife and child. In the first petition, the Respondent has a handsome source of earning. Thus, the Court held the Respondent/Husband liable to pay interim monetary relief to his wife and adopted child. While in the second case the Petitioner/Husband got no source of his earnings and thus, required consideration.

Judgment

The Hon’ble Court thus allowed criminal revision No.3508 of 2019 with no cost. Further, the Court dismissed CRR No.2856 of 2019.

Click here to view the judgment.


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