calcutta high court

Calcutta High Court: In a revision application which challenged the order pertaining to case to filed under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) for maintenance, a single-bench comprising of Bibhas Ranjan De,* J., held that husband is duty bound to disclose his actual income before the Court and observed that,

“Suppression of income can be a vital tool to come to a conclusion that petitioner/husband being an able-bodied person has sufficient income to maintain his wife.”

The Court, hence, upheld the maintenance order.

Brief Facts

In the instant matter, the petitioner challenged the order dated 10-08-2017, issued by the Family Court in Calcutta, pertaining to a case filed under Section 125 of the CrPC. The case originated from an application under Section 125 of CrPC filed by the wife (opposite party 2) alleging various forms of mistreatment, including physical and mental abuse, by her husband (the petitioner).

The wife claimed that the parties were married on 10-07-2008 under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, but her marital life was fraught with difficulties. It was also asserted that her husband refused to provide financial support despite having an income of Rs. 40,000 per month. In response, the petitioner contested the application, denying all allegations and stating that the wife voluntarily left their matrimonial home just five days after their marriage.

After carefully assessing the evidence presented, the Family Court issued an order for maintenance, directing the petitioner to pay Rs. 10,000 per month to the wife within 15 days of each succeeding month.


The petitioner contended that the wife filed the Section 125 CrPC application four years after voluntarily leaving her matrimonial home, and therefore, her claim should be considered irrelevant. It was contended that the judge’s decision was based on irrelevant considerations and did not align with legal principles. It was further claimed that the wife left her matrimonial home on her own accord, taking all her belongings, and refused to return without valid reasons, thus disqualifying her from receiving maintenance.

The petitioner contended that the wife was employed and earning Rs. 10,000 per month, rendering her self-sufficient and ineligible for maintenance. The petitioner also questioned the disproportionate amount of maintenance awarded by the judge, alleging that the wife made vague claims about her husband’s ownership of shops and failed to produce supporting documents.

The respondent referred to the evidence presented by petitioner’s brother-in-law and argued that she left her matrimonial home due to problems she faced there. It was argued that there was no credible evidence to prove her income and that the husband failed to produce any documents in this regard. It was further contended that the petitioner’s admission during cross-examination, that he was unemployed, raised doubts about his income.

Court’s Decision

The Court acknowledged that both parties were legally married and found no evidence to conclude that the wife willfully deserted her husband without sufficient reasons.

Regarding the wife’s means of maintenance, the Court noted that there is no credible evidence to establish her income. Concerning the husband’s income, the Court found contradictory statements in the evidence presented by witnesses, leading to reasonable doubt about the husband’s actual income.

The Court stated that if the husband had income, he should have disclosed it. Hence, considering inflation and the evidence presented, the Court declined to interfere with the maintenance order issued by the Family Court. Consequently, the revision application was dismissed.

[Swadesh Kumar Paul v. State of W.B., 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 3312, order dated 29-09-2023]

*Judgment by Justice Bibhas Ranjan De

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Ranajit Roy, Ms. Sushmita Ghosh, Mr. Parashar Baidya, Counsel for the Petitioner

Mr. Narayan Prasad Agarwala, Mr. Patick Bose, Counsel for the State

Rajkrishna Mondal, Mrs. Jayeta Mitra (Kaunda), Counsel for the Opposite Party 2

Buy Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973  HERE

Code of Criminal Procedure

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