Skip to content


Ramesh Chandra Vs. Beena Saxena - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1982CriLJ1426
AppellantRamesh Chandra
RespondentBeena Saxena
Excerpt:
- - this sub-section clearly directs that on proof of the allegations made by the wife such allowance shall accrue from the date of the order. was clearly maintainable. in these circumstances, the order of remand passed by the sessions judge appears to be a perfectly legal and just order. the circumstances of this case being rather exceptional, this opportunity should be afforded to both the parties so that there may be no miscarriage of justice......feb., 1977 they were married in fatehgarh. soon thereafter their relations were strained. smt. beena saxena filed a petition for divorce on the ground of cruelty, which was not contested by sri ramesh chandra. it was allowed on 3rd april, 1978. thereafter on 12th apr., 1979 she moved an application for maintenance under section 125 cr. p.c. it was mentioned therein, inter alia, that smt. saxena was unable to maintain herself. the opposite party was a wealthy person, but she confined her claim to rs. 500/- per month. this application was contested by sri ramesh chandra. both parties led evidence in support of their respective cases. it appears that on 18th nov., 1980 smt. beena saxena entered into a remarriage. an objection was taken before the magistrate that in view of the aforesaid.....
Judgment:
ORDER

P.N. Bakshi, J.

1. Smt, Beena Saxena is the daughter of Sri Brij Nandan Lal Advocate. Sri Ramesh Chandra is a resident of Meerut On 12th Feb., 1977 they were married in Fatehgarh. Soon thereafter their relations were strained. Smt. Beena Saxena filed a petition for divorce on the ground of cruelty, which was not contested by Sri Ramesh Chandra. It was allowed on 3rd April, 1978. Thereafter on 12th Apr., 1979 she moved an application for maintenance under Section 125 Cr. P.C. It was mentioned therein, inter alia, that Smt. Saxena was unable to maintain herself. The opposite party was a wealthy person, but she confined her claim to Rs. 500/- per month. This application was contested by Sri Ramesh Chandra. Both parties led evidence in support of their respective cases. It appears that on 18th Nov., 1980 Smt. Beena Saxena entered into a remarriage. An objection was taken before the Magistrate that in view of the aforesaid remarriage, Smt. Beena Saxena was not entitled to get any maintenance allowance. The Magistrate framed three issues. The first issue itself was concerned with the question, whether Smt. Beena Saxena was entitled to the maintenance allowance for the period prior to her second marriage? The other two issues were concerned with the question whether Smt. Saxena was unable to maintain herself? and, if so, to what amount of maintenance she was entitled? The trial court arrived at the conclusion that because Smt. Saxena had entered into a remarriage she has ceased to be the wife of Sri Ramesh Chandra and as such she was not entitled for any maintenance allowance for any period whatsoever. On the second two points the Magistrate did not give any decision for he thought that it was useless to do so since the application of Smt. Saxena was not maintainable. Aggrieved by the order a revision was filed before the Additional Sessions Judge, Farrukhabad, which has been allowed on 28-8-1981. The case has been remanded to the trial court to give its findings on all the points that arises in the case on the basis of the evidence already recorded. This has been challenged in revision before this Court by Sri Ramesh Chandra.

2. I have heard the learned Counsel for the parties at a considerable length. Each of them supported their submissions by making reference to the provisions contained under Sections 125 and 127 Cr. P.C. In the light of these provisions I shall now examine the contentions of the parties. Under Section 125(1) Cr. P.C. if a person having sufficient means, neglects or refuses to maintain his wife, unable to maintain herself, then it would be open to such an aggrieved wife to apply before the Magistrate of the 1st Class for awarding of monthly maintenance not exceeding Rs. 500/- payable by the husband. Of course, before she can be granted this relief she has to prove to the satisfaction of the Magistrate that her husband has neglected or refused to maintain her. Apart from that, the wife has also to prove that she is unable to maintain herself and that her husband has sufficient means to maintain her. But there is no legal restriction or bar placed on the right of the aggrieved 'wife' to apply before the Magistrate for the maintenance under Section 125 Cr. P.C. The maintainability of her application has to be judged on the date when such application is filed. The stage of proving the allegations of neglect and refusal is a subsequent stage upon the proof of which or otherwise her claim would either be allowed or disallowed by the Court. It is significant to note, in this connection that under the Explanation (b) of Section 125(1) Cr. P.C. 'wife' includes a woman, who has been divorced or has obtained a divorce from her husband, and has not remarried. On the basis of this explanation it can be argued that a wife, who has remarried, ceases to be the 'wife'. But the question is on what date does this relationship of husband and wife terminate for purposes of Section 125 Cr. P.C. If the divorced wife flies an application for maintenance under Section 125 Cr. P.C. and till that date she has not remarried, then in those circumstances she would continue to be the wife and her application claiming maintenance from her husband would be legally maintainable. But if the divorced wife remarried and subsequent to her remarriage she files an application under Section 125(1) Cr. P.C. in those circumstances she having ceased to be the wife on the date of application, in view of the explanation her application would not be maintainable. Thus the status of wife has got to be seen on the date when the application under Section 125 Cr. P.C. is filed. If she retains that status the application is maintainable and if she loses that status, the application is not maintainable as on the date it is filed.

3. Under Section 125(2) Cr. P.C. maintenance allowance shall be payable from the date of order or if so ordered from the date of application for maintenance. This Sub-section clearly directs that on proof of the allegations made by the wife such allowance shall accrue from the date of the order. In other words it must be payable from that date. It is not open to the Magistrate to fix a future date for payment of allowance. He cannot, for instance, say that the allowance would be payable from a date three months subsequent to the passing of the order. Such a direction would be illegal. The payment must be made from the date of the order.

4. Apart from this a further discretion has been given to the Magistrate and that is to the effect that if he so orders, he can direct the payment of maintenance allowance to the wife from the date on which she. filed her application under Section 125(1) Cr. P.C. This is a discretionary power, which has been given to the Magistrate depending upon the circumstances of each case. As to what those circumstances would be is nowhere laid down in the Act or any sub-clause of Section 125 Cr. P.C. Circumstances may vary from case to case. It is thus the pure judicial discretion, of the Magistrate which has to be exercised in such cases and if he considers that the circumstances justify a grant of maintenance from a date prior to the date of order, viz. from the date of the application, he has been fully empowered under Section 125(2) Cr. P.C. to make such an order.

5. A reference may also be made in this connection to Section 127(3) Cr. P.C. under which a husband is bound to ' maintain his divorced wife even after the decree for divorce has been obtained by one party or the other till such time as she does not remarry again. The object of this Sub-section appears to be, as has been observed in some cases, that the sanctity of marriage must be preserved, and once such a sacrament or contract is broken, then the separated or divorced wife should not be left on the way to take to vagrancy and immoral means of earning a livelihood. Once she remarries, then that gap in her life is filled up and she can look up to her second husband to support and maintain her. Till then she has to be maintained by her former husband. There is no doubt in my mind that it is with this end in view that Sections 125, 126, 127 and 128 Cr. P.C. have been enacted so that a speedy remedy may be given to assist the wife, who has been wrongly turned out of her house, neglected or not maintained by her husband, to continue to Live a pious life till such time as society accepts her in remarriage as anothers wife.

6. Keeping the above interpretation of Sections 125 and 127 Cr. P.C. in view the question to be decided now is whether Smt. Beena Saxena can be paid maintenance from the date she filed her application under Section 125 Cr. P.C. to the date of her remarriage. The principle of an application under Section 125 Cr. P.C. would be determined on the date when such application is filed. In the instant case when Smt. Beena Saxena had filed her application she was a wife holding a decree for divorce in her favour and she had not remarried second time. As such her application under Section 125 Cr. P.C. was clearly maintainable. Secondly, the law authorises a Magistrate to pass an order which would be effective not only from the date of his order but also from a date prior to it i.e. from the date of the application of the lady. This application under Section 125 Cr. P.C. was filed on 12-11-1979. Smt. Beena Saxena remarried on 18-11-1980. It was thus open to the Magistrate to have exercised his discretion to grant maintenance allowance to Smt. Beena Saxena for this period. The view taken by him that the application of Smt. Beena Saxena was not maintainable because of her remarriage is an erroneous view in law. In these circumstances, the order of remand passed by the Sessions Judge appears to be a perfectly legal and just order. He has correctly directed the Magistrate to decide the other issues involved in the case, I may, however, point out in this connection to avoid further complications that the Magistrate shall decide the question whether Smt. Beena Saxena was unable to maintain herself on the date of her application. He will not allow his mind to be swayed by the subsequent factum that after remarriage she can maintain herself. If necessary, he will allow the parties to lead evidence on this question so that no prejudice may be caused to either of them. He will also decide the question regarding the quantum of maintenance from the same point of view and decide as to what were the means of husband when the application under Section 125 Cr. P.C. was filed by Smt. Beena Saxena. In this connection also, if necessary, the parties, may be allowed to lead evidence. The circumstances of this case being rather exceptional, this opportunity should be afforded to both the parties so that there may be no miscarriage of justice.

7. This application in revision is hereby dismissed. The order of remand passed by the Second Additional Sessions Judge, Farrukhabad on 28-8-1981 is hereby upheld with the modification that the parties would be allowed to lead evidence on the point in controversy, if they so desire, in the light of the observations made by me above.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //