Gauhati High Court

Gauhati High Court: In a review petition filed under Sections 397/401 read with Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (’CrPC’) against an impugned judgement of the Principal Judge, Family Court, Nalbari (‘the Trial Court’), Malasri Nandi, J., held that where the husband is able to finally sustain himself, he is obligated to provide financial support to his wife as well.

BACKGROUND

The petitioner-husband and Respondent 2-wife were a married couple, however, their conjugal life sustained for a very short amount of time. Respondent 2 alleged that the petitioner used to torture her physically, mentally, and therefore, she was compelled to leave her matrimonial home and take shelter in her parental home. As such, she claimed maintenance under Section 125 of the CrPC.

After hearing the counsel for the parties, the trial court allowed the maintenance amounting to Rs. 2200/- monthly, in favour of the respondent. Being highly aggrieved and dissatisfied with the decision, the petitioner filed a review petition.

ISSUES BEFORE THE COURT

  1. Whether the respondent is entitled for maintenance from the petitioner?
  2. Whether the findings recorded by the Trial Court are perverse, warranting interference by this Court?

DECISION & ANALYSIS

The Court perused the available evidence on record, and based on the testimony of the witnesses, observed that the petitioner used to torture her physically and mentally with constant demands to bring money from her home, as a result of which, the respondent had to fled to her house and take shelter in her parental home.

The Court opined that an order under Section 125 of the CrPC could be passed if a person, despite having sufficient means neglects or refuses to maintain his wife and sometimes a plea is advanced by the husband that he does not have means to pay as he does not have a suitable job or business. The Court stated that these are all bald excuses and have no acceptability in law. The Court opined that if the husband is healthy, able bodied and in a position to support himself, he is under the legal obligation to support his wife.

The Supreme Court in, Shamima Farooqui v. Shahid Khan, (2015) 5 SCC 705, observed that a woman, who is constrained to leave her matrimonial home, cannot be compelled to become a destitute or a beggar and as long as the wife is held entitled to the grant of maintenance, it has to be adequate so that she can live with dignity as she would have lived in her matrimonial home. Placing reliance on the decision in, Laxmi Bai Patel v. Shyam Kumar Patel, SLP(Crl.) No. 2825 of 2001, the Court held that the marriage between the parties is not disputed and it was also not in dispute that Respondent 2 had left the house of her husband on being harassed, therefore, the husband was duty bound to pay maintenance to the wife.

Consequently, the Court upheld the decision of the Trial Court and dismissed the review petition on the ground of being devoid of any merits.

[Mahim Ali v. State of Assam, 2024 SCC OnLine Gau 628, decided on 30-05-2024]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the Petitioner: MD I H Khan

For the Respondents: PP, Assam

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One comment

  • But able bodied woman can sit idle and get free money from husband.

    In some cases she can sleep with another men and yet get money from.husband….

    The great Indian Judiciary..

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