Thursday, 26 September 2019

Supreme Court: Maintenance order passed under S 125 of CRPC should be stayed in exceptional circumstances

 We are constrained to observe that this order
shows total non-application of mind on the part of
the High court. This was a case where maintenance
had been granted to a wife and to a minor son. The
High Court without recording any reason whatsoever,
has stayed the grant of maintenance both to the wife
and to the minor son. This should not be done. A
husband/father is duty bound to maintain his wife and
child. Unless there are very special reasons, the
higher Court should not normally stay such an order.
In the present case no reason has been mentioned
justifying the grant of the stay order.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1399 OF 2019

PRATIMA DEVI Vs  ANAND PRAKASH 

Dated: SEPTEMBER 16, 2019.


1. Leave granted.
2. Though served, no one appears for the
respondent. The appellants, the wife and minor son
of the respondent had filed a petition for grant of
maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal
Procedure Code before the Principal Judge, Family
Court, Karkardooma Courts, Delhi. The Principal
Judge by order dated 03.10.2017 passed an order
granting maintenance @ Rs.20,000/- to the appellants,
(Rs. 10,000/- to the wife and Rs. 10,000/- to the
minor son). This order was passed ex-parte. The
respondent filed an application for setting aside the
ex-parte order which application was rejected on
05.09.2018. Aggrieved, the respondent filed criminal
revision No. 986 of 2018 before the High Court. Along

with revision petition an application for stay was
filed. The orders passed in the said petitions read
as follows :
“Trial Court record be requisitioned.
List on 25th November, 2019. in the
meantime, execution proceedings be
kept in abeyance.”
3. We are constrained to observe that this order
shows total non-application of mind on the part of
the High court. This was a case where maintenance
had been granted to a wife and to a minor son. The
High Court without recording any reason whatsoever,
has stayed the grant of maintenance both to the wife
and to the minor son. This should not be done. A
husband/father is duty bound to maintain his wife and
child. Unless there are very special reasons, the
higher Court should not normally stay such an order.
In the present case no reason has been mentioned
justifying the grant of the stay order.
4. We, therefore, set aside the impugned order
and direct the payment of maintenance as awarded by
the Family Court. We, however, make it clear that
the High Court after hearing the parties may pass an
appropriate reasoned order. We make it clear that

this order will not come in the way of the High Court
confirming, modifying or vacating the order of the
Family Court.
5. The appeal is, accordingly disposed of.
.................J.
[ DEEPAK GUPTA ]
...................J.
[ ANIRUDDHA BOSE ]
NEW DELHI,
SEPTEMBER 16, 2019.


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