Where the personal income of the wife is insufficient she can claim maintenance under Section 125 CrPC: High Court of New Delhi

Section 125 Cr.P.C have been enacted to remedy/reduce the financial sufferings of a lady, who was forced to leave her matrimonial house, so that some arrangements could be made to enable her to sustain herself. A husband cannot avoid his obligation to maintain his wife and children except if any legally permissibly ground is contained in the statutes. This was held in JAIVEER SINGH v. SUNITA CHAUDHARY [CRL.REV.P. 820/2018] in the High Court of New Delhi by single bench consisting of JUSTICE SUBRAMONIUM PRASAD.

Facts are that the respondent filed a petition U/S.125 Cr.P.C stating she is unable to sustain herself. The petitioner contended the respondent is  working and earning handsomely. Both the parties had filed their respective affidavits of income. Revision petition is filed against the order of Family Court, directing the petitioner to pay monthly maintenance.

Counsel for the petitioner contended that the respondent had by statement  U/S.165 of the Evidence Act made an admission under S.26 of the Act stating she was modelling. He had placed before the court covers of magazines and newspaper articles to establish that the respondent is employed model and is capable of maintaining herself.

Learned counsel for the respondent contended that the order does not require any interference by the Court exercising jurisdiction under Section 397/401 of the CrPC.

The court referred to the Apex court judgment in Chaturbhuj v. Sita Bai, where in it was held that, “Whether the deserted wife was unable to maintain herself, has to be decided on the basis of the material placed on record. Where the personal income of the wife is insufficient she can claim maintenance under Section 125 CrPC. The test is whether the wife is in a position to maintain herself in the way she was used to in the place of her husband.”

The court relied on the judgement of Rajnesh v. Neha, where in the court had laid down criterion for determining the quantum of maintenance, and observed that, “The maintenance amount awarded must be reasonable and realistic, and avoid either of the two extremes i.e. maintenance awarded to the wife should neither be so extravagant which becomes oppressive and unbearable for the respondent, nor should it be so meagre that it drives the wife to penury. The sufficiency of the quantum has to be adjudged so that the wife is able to maintain herself with reasonable comfort.”

Considering the facts of the case and the earlier precedents the court held that, petitioner was not able to point out any perversity in the impugned order. The petitioner was earning well and can pay his wife who has no stable source of income. Magazine covers are not sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the respondent can sustain herself. Thus dismissing the revision petition.

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