Cr.P.C. Section 125 – Non Payment of arrears of maintenance for 12 months -Magistrate, in exercise of the powers under Section 125 of Cr.P.C., is empoweredto sentence the defaulting person for a term of one month for each month of default.

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Cr.P.C. Section 125 – Non Payment of arrears of maintenance for 12 months  - Magistrate, in exercise of the powers under Section 125 of Cr.P.C., is empowered to sentence the defaulting person for a term of one month for each month of default-  In other words, it is open for the Magistrate to award the sentence up to maximum one month for each month's default made by the person ordered to pay the maintenance -  Thus, the maximum limit of sentence of one month referred to in Sub-section (3) of Section 125 of Cr.P.C. is applicable for each month of default - Even the Magistrate can entertain separate applications or even entertain a common application for several months of default and pass appropriate order -  If there are arrears of more than one month, then the imprisonment exceeding the period of one month can be imposed -  In the instance case, in lieu of maximum 12 defaults, the Magistrate has imposed imprisonment for 12 months -  However, the same is outer limit and lesser imprisonment can be imposed - Such imprisonment will be followed until the payment is made. In view of the same, I deem it appropriate to reduce the sentence to six months (15 days imprisonment for each month's default). 

 

Decided  on 16.10.2018

(2018) PLR Important Judgements 107

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Criminal Procedure Code, 1974 S. 125 - Explained - That the inherent and fundamental rights behind Section 125 Cr.P.C. is for amelioration of the financial state of affairs as well as mental agony and anguish that woman suffers when she is compelled to leave her matrimonial home - The principles of sustenance gets more heightened when the children are with her. (SC)(178) PLR

Criminal Procedure Code, 1974 S. 125 - Has been rightly held to be applicable by the Family Judge to Muslim Woman - Family Court Act, 1984 (66 of 1984). (SC)(178) PLR

Criminal Procedure Code, 1974 S. 125 - Maintenance - Husband cannot be permitted to plead that he is unable to maintain the wife due to financial constraints as long as he is capable of earning. (SC)(178) PLR

Criminal Procedure Code, 1974 S. 125 - Sustenance - Be it clarified that sustenance does not meant and can never allow to mean a mere survival - A woman, who is constrained to leave the marital home, should not be allowed to feel that she has fallen from grace and move hither and thither arranging for sustenance - As per law, she is entitled to lead a life in the similar manner as she would have lived in the house of her husband - And that is where the status and strata of the husband comes into play and that is where the legal obligation of the husband becomes a prominent one - As long as the wife is held entitled to grant of maintenance within the parameters of Section 125 Cr.P.C., it has to be adequate so that she can live with dignity as she would have lived in her matrimonial home - She cannot be compelled to become a destitute or a beggar. (SC)(178) PLR

 

Criminal Procedure Code, 1974 S. 125 - There can be no shadow of doubt that an order under Section 125 Cr.P.C. can be passed if a person despite having sufficient means neglects or refuses to maintain the wife - Sometimes, a plea is advanced by the husband that he does not have the means to pay, for he does not have a job or his business is not doing well - These are only bald excuses and, in fact, they have no acceptability in law - If the husband is healthy, able bodied and is in a position to support himself, he is under the legal obligation to support his wife, for wife's right to receive maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C., unless disqualified, is an absolute right. (SC)(178) PLR