A.S. Praveen Kumar Vs Ashwini and Anr on 14 Mar 2016
Relying on Supreme Court decision here, which was in turn relied on by a division bench of AP High Court here, a single-judge bench of AP High Court held that, a husband cannot be sentenced indefinitely for breach of maintenance orders.Pitchika Lakshmi Vs Pichika Chenna Mallikaharjuana Rao on 24 Dec 2012
Citations : [2012 SCC ONLINE AP 446], [2013 CRI LJ 4284], [2014 RCR CRI 5 651], [2014 HLR 1 317], [2013 ALD CRI 1 405], [LQ 2012 HC 8200]
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A division bench of Supreme Court held that,
The short question that arises for consideration is whether the learned Single Judge of the Patna High Court correctly interpreted sub-section (3) of Section 125 of CrPC by directing that the Magistrate can only sentence for a period of one month or until payment, if sooner made. The learned counsel for the appellants contends that the liability of the husband arising out of an order passed under Section 125 to make payment of maintenance is a continuing one and on account of non-payment there has been a breach of the order and therefore the Magistrate would be entitled to impose sentence on such a person continuing him in custody until payment is made. We are unable to accept this contention of the learned
counsel for the appellants. The language of sub-section (3) of Section 125 is quite clear and it circumscribes the power of the Magistrate to impose imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or until the payment, if sooner made. This power of the Magistrate cannot be enlarged and therefore the only remedy would be after expiry of one month. For breach or non-compliance with the order of the Magistrate the wife can approach the Magistrate again for similar relief. By no stretch of imagination can the Magistrate be permitted to impose sentence for more than one month. In that view of the matter the High Court was fully justified in passing the impugned order and we see no infirmity in the said order to be interfered with by this Court. The appeal accordingly fails and is dismissed.
Indiankanoon Version:Shahada Khatoon and Ors Vs Amjad Ali and Ors on 7 Apr 1999 (IK Ver)
Casemine Version:Shahada Khatoon and Ors Vs Amjad Ali and Ors on 7 Apr 1999 (CM Ver)
Citations : [1999 MHLJ SC 3 290], [1999 SCC CRI 1029], [1999 SUPREME 9 396], [1999 MPLJ SC 2 448], [1999 AIR SC 4880], [1999 SCC 5 672], [1999 BOMCR SC SUPP 1 978], [2000 ALD CRI 1 305], [1999 CRILJ 5060], [2000 DMC SC 1 313], [2000 KLT SC 1 696], [2000 MPHT 2 1], [1999 OLR SC 2 333], [1999 JT SC 10 260], [1999 AIR SCW 4880]
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Single Judge bench of AP HC held as follows:
From Para 6,
6. The points for determination in these proceedings are
(1) whether the order of maintenance passed in M.C. No. 18/84 stood cancelled ?
(2) Whether under Section 125(3), Cr.P.C. the wife can seek imprisonment of the husband for non-payment of maintenance accumulated beyond a period of 12 months ?
(3) Whether the payment of Rs. 3,250/- paid as per the directions of this court can be appropriated to the maintenance due for the first 25 months as claimed by the wife ?
From Para 11, Point (2) was answered.
11. Considering the different views expressed by the various High Courts I prefer to follow the Division Bench decision of the Calcutta High Court reported in Moddari Bin v. Sukdeo Bin, (1967 Cri LJ 335). The other decisions are judgments or single Judges. In my humble opinion the contraction put forward by the Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court is harmonesus construction and interpretation of the proviso making the proviso applicable to both the limbs of procedure contemplated under sub-section 3 of Section 125, Cr.P.C. I hold on point No. 2 that the wife the maintenance-holder cannot accumulate the maintenance for a period beyond 12 months. No application for execution of the maintenance order can be entertained for a period exceeding 12 months immediately preceding the date of application. I hold this point in favour of the petitioner. In this context I make it clear that they remedy provided under S. 125(3), Cr.P.C. is a speedy and expeditious remedy. By virtue of the order of maintains granted in M.C. 18/84 the right vested in the wife to receive maintenance from the date of the application i.e. 7-12-83. She may not be able to recover the earlier arrears by resorting to an application under Section 126(3), Cr.P.C., but still she would certainly be entitled to claim those arrear by filing a civil suit on the basis that the amount is die to her by virtue of the court order. But at the same time it should be remembered that under civil laws also her claim should be within the period of limitation. For instance, for the maintenance payable for the period 7-12-83 to 7-1-84 she should file a suit on or before 7-1-87. At the most she can recover arrears of maintenance for 3 years by resorting to a civil suit. Unfortunately in this case the right to file a civil suit for the earlier arrears is also barred by time.
Indiankanoon Version:Jangam Srinivasa Rao Vs Jaagam Rajeshwari and Anr on 13 Mar 1989 (IK Ver)
Casemine Version:Jangam Srinivasa Rao Vs Jaagam Rajeshwari and Anr on 13 Mar 1989 (CM Ver)
Citations : [1990 CRILJ 2506], [1989 ALT 2 295], [1989 SCC ONLINE AP 66], [1989 AP LJ 2 41], [1989 ALT NRC 2 8]
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Division bench of Apex Court held as follows:
It is true that the amount of maintenance became due by virtue of the Magistrate’s order passed on 20th January, 1993 and in order to seek recovery of the amount due by issuance of warrant, application shall be made within a period of one year from the date the amount became due. In the present case, the application, namely, Crl. Misc. Petition No. 47 of 1993 was filed well within one year. As no amount was paid even after the disposal of the matter by the High Court, the appellant filed IA No. 1 in Crl. Misc. Petition No. 47 of 1993 wherein the arrears due up to that date were calculated and sought recovery of that amount under Section 125(3). Thus, IA No. 1 was filed even when Crl. Misc. Petition No. 47 of 1993 was pending and no action to issue warrant was taken in that proceeding. Crl. Misc. Petition No. 47 of 1993 which was filed within one year from the date the amount became due was kept alive and it was pending throughout. The purpose of filing IA on 16-6-1998 was only to mention the amount due up to date. The fact that the additional amount was specified in the IA does not mean that the application for execution of the order by issuing a warrant under Section 125(3) was a fresh application made for the first time. As already noticed, the main petition filed in the year 1993 was pending and kept alive and the filing of subsequent IA in 1998 was only to specify the exact amount which accrued due up to that date. Such application is only supplementary or incidental to the petition already filed in 1993 admittedly within the period of limitation. The fact that only a sum of Rs 5365 representing the arrears of eight months was mentioned therein does not curtail the scope of criminal miscellaneous petition filed in 1993 more so when no action was taken thereon and it remained pending.
8. We are, therefore, of the view that in the peculiar circumstances of the case, the bar under Section 125(3) cannot be applied and the High Court has erred in reversing the order of the Sessions Judge. It must be borne in mind that Section 125 CrPC is a measure of social legislation and it has to be construed liberally for the welfare and benefit of the wife and daughter. It is unreasonable to insist on filing successive applications when the liability to pay the maintenance as per the order passed under Section 125(1) is a continuing liability.
Note: The last line of para 8 (underlined) is against the law laid down by the Apex Court in Shahada Khatoon and Ors Vs Amjad Ali and Ors.Shantha @ Ushadevi and Anr Vs B.G.Shivananjappa on 6 May 2005
Citations : [2005 SCC 4 468], [2005 SCC CRI 1089], [2005 AIR SC 2410], [2005 CRI LJ 2615], [2005 KANTLJ 4 208], [2005 CRIMES SC 2 225], [2005 AIR SC 0 2613], [2005 RCR CRI 2 796], [2005 AIOL 264], [2005 BOMCR CRI SC 2 548], [2005 CRLJ SC 2615], [2005 JT 5 347], [2005 SCALE 4 742], [2005 SCC 4 463], [2005 SCC CRI 1098], [2005 SCR 153], [2005 SUPREME 4 93], [2005 SCC CR 1098], [2005 SCJ 4 553], [2005 AD SC 5 319], [2005 BCR 2 548], [2005 MLJ CRI 1 665], [2005 SRJ 6 238], [2005 ALT CRI 2 282], [2005 CRLR 356], [2005 CALLJ 2 233], [2005 ALD CRI 1 370], [2005 CALCRILR 2 1], [2005 CCC 2 430], [2005 ALL MR CRI 179], [12005 DMC 2 1], [2005 JCRIC 2 753], [2005 SLT 4 292], [2005 CCR 2 231], [2005 MLJ CRL 1 665], [2005 AIR SCW 0 2613], [2005 AIR SCW 2613], [2005 CRIMES 2 225], [2005 CRLJ 2615], [2005 BCR CRI 2 548]
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