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Ramalal Tribhovandas Thakkar Vs. Shantaben and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Reven. Appln. No. 179 of 1966
Judge
Reported inAIR1968Guj171; 1968CriLJ1073; (1967)8GLR658
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1898 - Sections 488
AppellantRamalal Tribhovandas Thakkar
RespondentShantaben and anr.
Appellant Advocate M.F. Thakkar, Adv.
Respondent Advocate N.H. Bhatt and; G.T. Nanavaty, Advs.
Cases ReferredN. K. Ramanathan Chettiar v. Alamelu Achi
Excerpt:
- - it was also argued that no medical practitioner has been examined to show that she was suffering from tuberculosis and that she has been and would be keeping such bad health for practically all time to come......live separately'. it is, therefore, clear that what is intended by allowance for maintenance to a wife required to live separate from her husband, under section 488 of the criminal procedure code , is the reasonable expenditure on her upkeep or sustenance and that would include, therefore, even reasonable wants of the person, such as if she is required to have continuous medical treatment or having congenial diet for the ailment she continues to have which otherwise, if she was living with her husband, he would have been required to spend on her to keep up her in existence and that way in fit state of health. in this connection, mr. bhatt, the learned advocate appearing for the opponent no. 1, invited a reference to a case of n. k. ramanathan chettiar v. alamelu achi, air 1943 mad 342,.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. x x x x x

(9) What was urged by Mr. Thakkar in this respect was that any amount by way of medical charges at the rate of Rs. 15/- per month to her in addition to maintenance amount of Rs. 60/- cannot be awarded to her for the reason that the words 'allowance for the maintenance of his wife' in Section 488 of the Criminal Procedure Code would not ordinarily include any such charges. It was also argued that no medical practitioner has been examined to show that she was suffering from tuberculosis and that she has been and would be keeping such bad health for practically all time to come. Now the words ' allowance for the maintenance' used in Section 488 of the Code cannot necessarily be taken to mean only the amount that would be required to spend on food etc. It is a very wide term in the sense that it would include all the necessities of a person when she is required to live separate from her husband. The amount to be paid to her may vary having regard to the means that her husband possesses or even sometimes in view of the Income that the wife has. But when what the term 'maintenance' means has to be considered, there can being the first place no dispute that it would include expenses not only on food or nourishment to sustain ones life, but also expenses if she would be required for having separate residence, and on her clothing. These are called bare necessaries of life and the term 'maintenance' would include expenses on account of them, if no other arrangement for residence etc., is made. But then those requirements are not necessarily the only requirements for a person to continue her existence and they would always therefore include some other legitimate or reasonable expenses which one is obliged to incur for keeping herself in fit health. 'Maintenance' as explained in Webster's dictionary, Second Edition, Means 1; a maintaining or being maintained upkeep, support, defense, etc., as, her job provided a mere maintenance etc. In this connection, we may usually refer to Section 23 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 where under sub-section (2) thereof while determining the amount of maintenance, if any, to be awarded to a wife, children or aged or infirm parents under this Act, regard shall be had to among other things, 'the reasonable wants of the claimant if the claimant is justified or required to live separately'. It is, therefore, clear that what is intended by allowance for maintenance to a wife required to live separate from her husband, under Section 488 of the Criminal Procedure Code , is the reasonable expenditure on her upkeep or sustenance and that would include, therefore, even reasonable wants of the person, such as if she is required to have continuous medical treatment or having congenial diet for the ailment she continues to have which otherwise, if she was living with her husband, he would have been required to spend on her to keep up her in existence and that way in fit State of health. In this connection, Mr. Bhatt, the learned advocate appearing for the opponent No. 1, invited a reference to a case of N. K. Ramanathan Chettiar v. Alamelu Achi, AIR 1943 Mad 342, where it was held that in the case of a wife who is admittedly invalid and requires medical attention, it cannot be said that the expenses of a reasonable amount of medical attention appropriate to her statues in life are not within the meaning of the word 'maintenance' as used in Section 488. In other words, the word 'maintenance' as used section 488 is not to be narrowly interpreted as urged by Mr. Thakkar and, as already stated above, it has a wide meaning and having regard to the circumstances of each case, on has to find out the most reasonable requirements for the existence of a person if that person is obliged to live separate from her husband and is entitled to be paid maintenance on the account. In my view therefore, if on evidence, any such constant extra expenditure is so essential to be made for keeping herself in fit state of health, some reasonable amount towards the same can be included in the sum of maintenance allowed under Section 488 of the Criminal Procedure Code which ordinarily is intended to cover expenditure broadly on food for nourishment, clothing and residence.

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2. Order accordingly.


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