Listed below are a reasonably laid out sequence of events in a Maintenance Case filed under Section 125 of CrPC.
Other Life Cycles: 498A IPC Case Lifecycle || DV Case Lifecycle. Index of all life cycles is here. Looking for Maintenance case-laws? go here!
Initial signs of facing a Maintenance case u/s 125 CrPC
This is the 3rd false case after the 498A IPC and Domestic Violence cases, that you may face. This case completes what is colloquially called as Full package. First a criminal case is filed so that Police power can be misused and when that does not break you, Civil reliefs are prayed for through Domestic Violence case. When even that plot fails and you don’t budge, the final attack comes in the form of this maintenance case, in which they think there is a sure shot success in extracting money from you. How comical bozos these are… hahahaha
The petition/application u/s 125 CrPC containing the facts of the case, stating the circumstances under which the wife (as per the law, parents or children can also seek maintenance in cases of neglect) seeks to claim maintenance, all personal relevant details is filed before the Family Court (or jurisdictional Junior Civil Judge Court if Family Court is not available).
Issue of Notice to the Respondent
The Family Court scrutinizes the petition and issues notice to the husband against whom the petition has been filed by the wife. Petitioner copy may be sent along with notice.
Reference to Reconciliation/Mediation
The parties may be directed to appear before the court for reconciliation or may be directed to mediation and efforts are made to reconcile them first in an effort to avoid litigation.
If the reconciliation proceedings after being conducted by the family court are successful, then the matter stands settled. If they lead to failure, then the Court proceeds with the petition to decide it on merits.
Written Statement (of objections)
After giving a copy of the petition to the Respondent, the Family Court directs the opposite part to file a reply/WS/Counter to the maintenance petition stating the facts which he/she accepts or denies. Both the parties are also asked to file their detailed Income Affidavit (as per Rajnesh Vs Neha Case) so that it can infer the capabilities and liabilities. Petitioner must be given a copy of reply.
The petitioner is directed to file a rejoinder/rebuttal to reply filed by the opposite party. The application for interim maintenance, if any filed by the petitioner, is decided by the court at this stage of the case, based on pleadings and affidavits alone. No evidence will be entertained to decide Interim applications. Respondent must be given a copy.
Framing of Issues
The court then proceeds further and frames issues for adjudication and the matter is posted for evidence of the parties.
The petitioner is directed to lead its evidence by way of filing the relevant documents, papers, etc. and by summoning all its witnesses. List of witnesses must be given to other side before examining the first prosecution witness. Once prosecution witness examination completes by way of Chief Examination Affidavit, the witness will face Cross Examination from the Counsel of opposite party and the deposition of each witness is recorded, up on oath.
The respondent is directed to lead its evidence by way of filing the relevant documents, papers, etc. and by summoning all its witnesses. This is optional and the Respondent may forego examination/ evidence, if they think that the prosecution failed to support their case.
FINAL ARGUMENTS –
The final arguments in the matter are held and the matter is decided by the court. Written Arguments may also be submitted to the Family Court, as a best practice.
The Court finally passes the final order/judgement where it may either dismiss the petition or allow the petition and direct the other party to pay an amount as directed by the court monthly.
Ms. Suprajaa Rajan (B.Com., LL.B.)