S. Maharajan, J.
1. The only point that arises for determination in this appeal is whether the plaint O.S. No. 75 of 1970, as framed, is sustainable. One Mahadeva Iyer, the plaintiff, institutied that suit against his first wife, Krishnammal, praying for a decree in the following terms.
1. Declaring that the ex parte order passed in M.C. No. 2 of 1969 by the District Magistrate of Alleppy on 30th April, 1969 is null and void and cannot bind the plaintiff;
2. In consequence, directing the defendant, by a permanent injunction, from in any way claiming maintenance against the plaintiff; or, in the alternative,
3. Reducing, the rate of maintenance to the sum of Rs. 25 and directing the defendant to receive the same; and
4. Granting such further and other reliefs to the plaintiff as this honourable Court may deem fit in the circumstances of the case and thus render justice.
It appears that the defendant obtained an ex parte order in M.C. No. 2 of 1969 on the file of the District Magistrate of Alleppy against the plaintiff under Section 488, Criminal Procedure Code, directing the plaintiff to pay her a monthly allowance of Rs. 100. The plaintiff wished to get lid of this order by alleging that the wife had failed to perform her obligations to her husband. He also wanted, in any event, that the quantum of maintenance should be reduced in view of a change in his circumstances. It was with this double purpose that he institute- the suit.
2. So far as prayers 1 and 2 are concerned, it must be held (and this is conceded by the learned advocate for the husband) that the civil Court has no jurisdiction to set aside or vary and order passed by the criminal Court under Section 488, Criminal Procedure Code, though once a competent civil Court gives a decision upon the liability : for maintenance or the quantum thereof the criminal Court is statutorily bound under Section 489, Clause (2), Criminal! Procedure Code, to cancel or vary its! own order in accordance with the decision! of the civil Court. It is unnecessary for! me to further discuss this position, except to state that the proceedings under Section 488, Criminal Procedure Code, are summary and tentative in character and are devised for the purpose of affording speedy relief, without which social peace might become impaired but that the primary jurisdiction in the matter rests with the civil Court. Prayers 1 and 2 in the plaint asking, as they do for a declaration that the criminal Court's order is null and void and for a permanent injunction restraining the defendant from claiming the allowance ordered by the criminal Court are unsustainable.
3. But prayer 3 in the plaint, if construed broadly, as it must be, appears to me quite sustainable. The prayer makes no direct reference to the order of the criminal Court at all. All that it asks is for a reduction in the rate of maintenance payable by the plaintiff to the defendant to a sum of Rs. 25 per mensem. This prayer does not involve the cancellation or variation of the order of the criminal Court, though if the civil Court were to grant this prayer, it would be the duty of the criminal Court to consequentially alter the quantum fixed in its order. By virtue of the criminal of the criminal which has been confirmed by the High Court of Kerala, the plaintiff has become liable to pay maintenance at the rate of Rs. 100 It is a liability which he can get rid of or reduce by establishing in the civil Court the requisite circumstances The prayer for a reduction of the rate of maintenance, even assuming that by implication it asks for a reduction of the rate of allowance fixed by the criminal Court, is a prayer which the plaintiff is entitled to ask for in the civil Court. Further, I think it reasonable to construe prayer No. 3 as a prayer for fixing the rate of maintenance at Rs. 25 per mensem, in which case it would not involve, directly or indirectly, any request to alter the order of the criminal Court, though, as I have said already, the result of the grant of such a relief would be to force the criminal Court to take cognizance of it and modify its own order suitably.
4. Then there is also prayer No. 4 in the plaint, which requests the Court to grant such further and other reliefs as the Court may deem fit. This prayer has been couched in a most unexceptionable form and asks the Court to mould the relief to suit the exigencies of the case. Even assuming that the form in which prayer No. 3 has been couched is objectionable, prayer No. 4 enables the Court to grant what was really intended by the plaintiff in prayer No. 3, namely, to fix the quantum of maintenance at Rs. 25 per mensem. I, therefore, hold that the first appellate Court was right, in holding that the plaint as framed is maintainable in so far as prayers 3 and 4 are concerned.
5. This appeal will consequently stand dismissed. The costs of this appeal will abide the result. I may say that the objection relating to jurisdiction raised by the defendant has not been canvassed during the arguments in this appeal. It is open to the appellant to raise her objection regarding jurisdiction before the trial Court. C.M.P. No. 3481 of 1972. No orders necessary.