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All orders as may be passed by the Family Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 7 of the Hindu Marriage Act, which have a character of an intermediate order, and are not merely interlocutory orders: The High Court of Delhi

The object of Section 125 Cr.P.C is to prevent vagrancy and destitution of a deserted wife by providing her for the food, clothing and shelter by a speedy remedy. The object of Section 125 Cr.P.C is to bring down the agony and financial suffering of a women who left her matrimonial home so that some arrangements could be made to enable her to sustain herself and her child. The aforesaid has been established by the Delhi High Court while deciding the case of Urvashi Aggarwal & Ors. v. Inderpaul Aggarwal [CRL.REV.P. 549/2018 & CRL.M.A. 11791/2018 (Stay)] which was heard by a single judge bench comprising Justice Subromonium Prasad  on 14th June 2021.

The facts of the case are as follows. The petitioner no. 1 and respondent got married in 1997 and had two children. Later, they faced certain disputes in their marriage and the husband instituted a suit for divorce. During its pendency, the petitioner filed a petition seeking maintenance. After a perusal of the income statements of both the parties, it was decided that, the respondent had to pay 12.5% to each of the child out of his gross income less minimum statutory deductions it was directed that from the date of birth of his son from the second marriage, the share of the respondent shall be 10% each for 2 kids, from the wedlock with the petitioner No.1, as his entire salary was apportioned to five shares (two for the respondent, one each for the three kids). This order has been challenged in the instant petition.

The learned counsel for the respondent has taken the primary objection stating that the present application is not maintainable and is barred under Section 397(2) Cr.P.C inasmuch as the order granting interim maintenance is an interlocutory order. On the contrary, the counsel for petitioner placed reliance on the judgment of Manish Aggarwal v. Seema Aggarwal, 2012 SCC Online Del 4816 for the accurate definition of interlocutory orders and was of the opinion that “All orders as may be passed by the Family Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 7 of the said Act, which have a character of an intermediate order, and are not merely interlocutory orders, would be amenable to the appellate jurisdiction under sub-section (1) of Section 19 of the said Act.”

It is contended by the learned counsel for the petitioners that each of the child is entitled to full 25% of the amount of the salary earned by the respondent. It is further contended by the learned counsel for the petitioners that the learned Family Court has also erred in limiting the maintenance to be given to the petitioner No.2/son till he attains the age of the majority and that the responsibility of a father to take care of his child does not cease after the child attains majority if the child is not able to sustain himself.

After analysing the facts and arguments presented, the court partially allowed the revision petition and the rest was disposed of along with the pending application. The reasoning provided by the court for such a decision is understated. It stated that the decision of the percentages of salary allotted to each of the children cannot be stated as being incorrect. Further while keeping in mind the increasing cost of living, the salary earned by both the parties and the liability imposed by the major son who is still not earning, the court was of the opinion that “The amount earned by the petitioner No.1 will not be sufficient for the family of three, i.e. the mother and two children to sustain themselves. The amount spent on the petitioner No.2 will not be available for the petitioner No.1. This Court is therefore inclined to grant a sum of Rs.15,000/- per month as interim maintenance to the petitioner No.1 from the date of petitioner No.2 attaining the age of majority till he completes his graduation or starts earning whichever is earlier. The instant petition was filed in the year 2008. The learned Family is directed to dispose of the petition as expeditiously as possible, preferably within 12 months of the receipt of a copy of this order.”

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