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“To deny maintenance to an estranged wife and child is the worst offence, even from a humanitarian perspective”: High Court of Delhi

The High Court of Delhi, through learned judge, Justice Asha Menon in the case of Pradeep Kumar v. SMT. Bhawana & Anr (CRL.M.C. 1692/2022, CRL.M.A. 7236/2022 (for stay)) observed that to deny maintenance to an estranged wife and child is the worst offence, even from a humanitarian perspective

BRIEF FACTS:  This petition was filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing of an order passed by the learned Family Court, North-East, Karkardooma Courts in MT No. 233/2020, whereby, directions had been issued to the petitioner to pay a sum of Rs.20,000/- as a consolidated amount towards the interim maintenance of the respondents till the disposal of that petition. Two months’ time was granted to the petitioner to clear the arrears of interim maintenance. 

FINDINGS OF THE COURT: After hearing the contentions raised by both the parties, the court observed that to deny maintenance to an estranged wife and child is the worst offence, even from a humanitarian perspective. Yet, it is a sad truth that husbands force their wives to file execution petitions to delay payments, even after a court of law has determined her entitlement, albeit, even if as an interim measure. The court remarked that the present petition was an abuse of the process of court. No error was evident in the order of the learned Family Court nor was any ground made out for quashing the proceedings before the Family Court. The petition was accordingly dismissed with costs of Rs.20,000/- to be paid to the respondent No.1 before the learned Family Court on the next date of hearing fixed before it. 18. The remarked that the sum of Rs.1,00,000/- that has been deposited in the Registry shall be released to the respondent No.1, on an application filed in this regard. The court further observed that the said amount will be adjusted towards the existing arrears of maintenance. The petition was accordingly dismissed. 

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – AMRUTHA K

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