1. This is a rule obtained against an order made by Mr. Kulwant Singh, Magistrate 1st Class. Amritsar, allowing to the wife an allowance of Rs. 45/-per mensum as maintenance for her and for her son under Section 488, Criminal Procedure Code.
2. The sole question before me is one of jurisdiction. The husband, it is agreed before me, belonged to some place in Pakistan and on the parti-tion of the country he came to what is now Trdia and for some time he lived in Baserke a village in Amritsar District, with his wife. He is employed in some Defence Department and was, when the present petition was brought stationed at Meerut. The wife brought the application for maintenance in a Court in Amritsar, and the sole question raised then was, as it now is, as to whether the Amrit-sar Court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of this case.
3. Under Section 488(8), Criminal Procedure Code, proceedings under this section can be taken in any district where the husband resides or he and his wife last resided together. The question as to what is the meaning of the words 'last resided together' was decided by a judgment of the Lahore High Court in Charan Das v. Mt. Suresti Bai, AIR 1940 Lah 449 (A) where it was held that a temporary residence is not within the meaning of the words 'last resided together.'
4. Counsel for the respondent, the wife, relies on Section 531 of the Criminal Procedure Coda and in support has quoted Sitram Kalwar v Sukia Kalwarin AIR 1929 Cal 336 (B), where it was held that merely because the case was brought in tha district of 24 Parganas while the husband and wife last resided together in Calcutta is not a ground for setting aside the order as it would be covered by Section 531 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
5. Counsel also relies upon a judgment of the Rangoon High Court in Maung Paik v. Ma Ohn Sint AIR 1939 Rang 210 (C) where in circumstances similar to the last case, Section 531 of the Criminal Procedure Code was applied. Ramaswami J. in Sampoornam v. Sundaresan AIR 1953 Mad 78 (D), held that where parties have no home of any sort and have been moving, about from place to place, each place where they do live would be their home for the time being and the Court within whose jurisdiction they resided last can entertain that application. The learned Judge referred to the Lahore case and was of the opinion that Sub-section (8) of Section 488 does not apply to a permanent residence.
6. The petitioner has referred me to a Single Bench judgment of this Court in Mahnga Mal v. Raj Kumari Criminal Revn. No. 779 of 1955 (E) in which it was held that Section 531 of the Criminal Procedure Cede cures all defects of jurisdiction unless failure of justice is proved. The question in my opinion, is of some importance because it is liable to all kinds of abuse. Examples of this kind can be multiplied and I think it is in the interests of justice if this matter was decided by a Division Bench so as to put an end to all controversies. I would, therefore, direct that the papers be sent to the Hon'blo the Chief Justice to constitute a Bench.