1. The First respondent and her minor sons filed M.C. No. 48/77 for maintenance and the maintenance was awarded at the rate of Rs. 300/- and that has become final. The husband who is the petitioner herein however failed to pay the maintenance regularly and therefore the respondents filed M.P. 1636/80 for enforcement of the maintenance. The learned II Additional Judicial First Class Magistrate, Warangal directed the husband to pay a sum of Rupees 6,085/- with arrears and in default to undergo 20 months' simple imprisonment. He also directed that warrant should be issued under Section 125(3) to the Collector of Warangal authorising him to realise the said amount as arrears of land revenue. It is this order that is challenged in this revision case.
2. The learned Counsel for the petitioner submits that under Section 125(3) the 1Magistrate has no power to impose a sentence of imprisonment in respect of each month for which the maintenance remained unpaid. It is true the learned Magistrate has sentenced the petitioner herein who is the husband to undergo 20 months' simple imprisonment on the ground that there was default for 20 months. But that is permissible under Section 125(3). A Full Bench of Bombay High Court in K. R. Chawda v. State of Bombay, AIR 1958 Bom 99 : (1958 Cri LJ 351) held that the power of the Magistrate is in respect of whole or any part of each month's allowance remaining unpaid to sentence a person for a term not exceeding one month. The Full Bench upheld an order of the Magistrate sentencing the husband to be imprisoned for a term of 15 days in respect of each month for which the allowance remained unpaid. Therefore it is open to the magistrate under Section 125(3) to pass the sentence of imprisonment up to one month in respect of each month. However imprisonment for 20 months is rather severe. It is accordingly reduced to a term at the rate of 9 days in respect of each month, in total 180 days, i.e. for 6 months. With this modification of sentence of imprisonment the revision is dismissed. The other directions given by the lower court are confirmed.
3. Revision dismissed reducing sentence.