Title: Dhanna Sahu v Smt. Sitabai Sahu
Coram: Justice Shri Goutam Bhaduri & Justice Shri Deepak Kumar Tiwari
Decided On: 08/11/2023
The present Appeal is against the judgment dated 8.2.2023 passed by the Judge, Family Court, Bemetara in Civil MJC No.5/2022 wherein the application filed by the daughter-in-law against her father-in-law claiming maintenance was allowed and an amount of Rs.1500/- was directed to be paid. The father-in-law is in Appeal before this Court.
Sitabai Sahu is the daughter-in- law of the appellant. She was married to Virendra Sahu, son of the appellant and 2 children were born. Said Virendra Sahu died in harness on 28.8.2021. Thereafter dispute arose in between the parties and the children were kept in the custody of the father-in-law i.e. the appellant. It was stated that the appellant has affluent means. He has 6 acres of land. Apart from that, he was in the avocation of doctorship, whereas the daughter-in-law was unable to maintain herself. Stating various grounds, maintenance was claimed.
The father-in-law opposed the application for maintenance and stated that his daughter-in-law has sufficient means to survive. However, no document has been placed before the Court to show that she is unable to maintain herself from the estate of her husband or father or mother. The learned family Court after evaluating the material placed before it has directed to pay an amount of Rs.1500/- as maintenance to the daughter- in-law.
Daughter-in-law has filed the application prior to this litigation for custody of the children wherein she has deposed that she has enough earning and would be able to maintain her children, apart from the property. Bare reading of the statement would show that the order itself is bad and no justification can be attached to it.
Learned counsel for the respondent opposes the said argument on submission that the statement made in the prior proceeding cannot be agitated time and again in the subsequent proceeding and position of the parties is to be evaluated in the subsequent adjudication and as such, the findings arrived at by the family Court are well merited, which do not call for any interference.
Court’s Analysis and Judgement:
In her statement, she has stated that she wants to keep the children with her, as she is doing the private job and she has sufficient income and her parental part i.e. father and mother have also sufficient means. This statement when was confronted in the cross-examination of the respondent, she admitted to have made such statement in a proceeding under Section 25 of the Act, while the proceeding was drawn before the family Court for custody of the children. She has stated that she was working in a private company and was earning enough and mother and father were also financially well.
Therefore, the statement itself made by the respondent cut across the requirement which is mandatory under Section 19 of the Act of 1956. There is no answer to the aforesaid issue as to under what circumstances, the statement was made in a judicial proceeding in earlier round of litigation and the statement having been confronted and admitted by the appellant would hold the field to adjudicate the issue. Hence the order dated 8.2.2023 was set aside by the court.
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Written by- Sushant Kumar Sharma