Allahabad High Court: Suresh Kumar Gupta, J., while addressing an issue with maintenance allowance determined a very significant point of whether rent allowance is included under maintenance allowance or not.
OP 2 had filed an application against the revisionist under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 before the Principal Judge/Family Court on 26-04-2014.
It has been submitted by the OP -2 that presently the daughters of OP-2 and revisionist are in the care and custody of OP-2.
OP-2 alleged that during her pregnancy of her second daughter, the revisionist solemnized marriage in USA with John NG and totally neglected OP-2 due to which she had to move out to Bangalore taking shelter at her parental house in NOIDA.
Family Court had directed the revisionist to deposit Rs 25,000/- maintenance each to the two minor daughters of the revisionist and Rs 20,000/- as rent, cumulatively Rs 70,000/- in exercise of powers under Section 125 CrPC.
During the pendency of interim maintenance, the revisionist moved the application to quash and modify the interim maintenance order.
High Court on perusal of the facts and circumstances of the case, observed the following:
“…findings recorded in proceedings under Section 125 CrPC are not final and parties are always at liberty to agitate their rights in Civil Court.
Order under Section 125 CrPC does not finally determine the status, rights and obligations of the parties and it only provides for maintenance of indigent wives, children and parents.”
Bench relied on the decisions of the Supreme Court in Bhuwan Mohan Singh v. Meena, (2015) 6 SCC 353, Shamima Farooqui v. Shahid Khan, (2015) 5 SCC 705, Sunita Kachwaha v. Anil Kachwaha, (2014) 16 SCC 715 and various other decisions in order to reach a conclusion in the present matter.
In view of the decision cited, it is not permissible for the Court to reappreciate the evidence and nothing on record was present to show Family Court’s proceedings to be perverse.
In the case of maintenance, the Court has to see whether the wife has refused to live with her husband without any sufficient reason and it is also to be seen whether the husband has neglected to maintain his wife, without any valid reason.
In the present matter, wife and husband have been living separately due to the physical and mental cruelty meted out to the wife along with the extramarital relationship of the husband with another woman.
Bench also added that merely because the wife was capable of earning, this would not be a sufficient ground to refuse claim of maintenance to minor daughters.
If the husband is healthy, able-bodied and is in the position to support himself, thus, he is under the legal obligation to support his minor children and her wives.
Hence Family Court’s order for maintenance is appropriate, just and legal.
Bench on noting the fact that as per the OP-2’s salary slip she was already getting the house rent allowance, therefore, the same is not permissible under the maintenance allowance. In view of the same, the Judgment of the family court regarding Rs 20,000 as rent allowance was liable to be quashed.
“…rent allowance does not come in the purview of maintenance allowance under Section 125 CrPC.”
Concluding the decision, Court partly allowed the revision while upholding the maintenance allowance of Rs 25,000 each for minor daughters. [Ankur Gupta v. State of U.P., 2021 SCC OnLine All 189, decided on 03-03-2021]
Advocates for the parties:
Counsel for Revisionist:- Rajiv Lochan Shukla, J.B. Singh
Counsel for Opposite Party:- G.A., Nipun Singh