Rani & Anr. Versus Dinesh
Court / Forum : High Court of Delhi
Citation : Crl. Rev.P. 1091/2019
Coram : Justice Vibhu Bhakru
Subject : Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (“CrPC”)
Date of Decision : December 2, 2020
- The present petition has been filed against the order dated July 4, 2019 (“Impugned Order”) passed by the Ld. Family Court, Karkardooma, whereby the Petitioner’s application (“Application”) for interim maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.PC was rejected.
- The Petitioner’s Application was rejected on the sole ground that the Petitioners had been granted interim maintenance of Rs. 4,000/- per month in proceedings filed under section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (“DV Act”). The Ld. Family Court held that since the Petitioners had been awarded interim maintenance for the same period and no appeal had been preferred against the said interim order, the Application for the same period was not maintainable. The Ld. Family Court held that it was not open for the Petitioners to claim maintenance from two different courts in different proceedings for the same period. In the event the Petitioners were of the view that the amount of interim maintenance granted was insufficient, the appropriate remedy would be to approach the concerned court for modification or enhancement of the interim maintenance.
- Whether an application for interim maintenance under Section 125 Cr.PC could be maintained for the same period for which interim maintenance has been awarded under the DV Act ?
The Hon’ble Court relied upon the judgement of R.D. v. B.D.: 2019 SCC OnLine Del 9526 (DB) whereby it was held that an order for interim maintenance granted under the DV Act does not preclude an applicant to claim interim maintenance for the same period in separate proceedings. The relevant extract of the said decision is set out below:
“15. A careful perusal of Section 20 of DV Act shows that it provides maintenance to the aggrieved person as well as her children, if any, which would be in addition to an order of maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or any other law for the time being in force. Further, Section 26 of DV Act stipulates that any relief available under Sections 18 to 22 of DV Act may also be sought in any legal proceedings before a civil court, Family court or a criminal court and such relief may be sought in addition thereto. Whereas Section 36 of DV Act clearly stipulates ‘Act not in derogation of any other law—The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law, for the time being in force.’
16. A conjoint reading of the aforesaid Sections 20, 26 and 36 of DV Act would clearly establish that the provisions of DV Act dealing with maintenance are supplementary to the provisions of other laws and therefore maintenance can be granted to the aggrieved person (s) under the DV Act which would also be in addition to any order of maintenance arising out of Section 125 of Cr.P.C.
17. On the converse, if any order is passed by the Family Court under Section 24 of HMA, the same would not debar the Court in the proceedings arising out of DV Act or proceedings under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. instituted by the wife/aggrieved person claiming maintenance. However, it cannot be laid down as a proposition of law that once an order of maintenance has been passed by any Court then the same cannot be re-adjudicated upon by any other Court. The legislative mandate envisages grant of maintenance to the wife under various statutes such as HMA, Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (hereinafter referred to as ‘HAMA’), Section 125 of Cr.P.C. as well as Section 20 of DV Act. As such various statutes have been enacted to provide for the maintenance to the wife and it is nowhere the intention of the legislature that once any order is passed in either of the proceedings, the said order would debar re-adjudication of the issue of maintenance in any other Court.”
- The Hon’ble Court also observed that although a separate application seeking interim maintenance for the same period is maintainable, the Court would necessarily bear in mind the interim maintenance awarded in the other proceedings while considering the merits of the application.
- Accordingly, the Impugned Order was set aside and the matter was remanded to the Ld. Family Court to consider the Petitioner’s Application.
Vipul Ganda is a Delhi based Advocate practicing largely at the Delhi High Court. His practice focus is Dispute Resolution and Litigation and his practice areas include Arbitration, Commercial, Civil, Constitutional, Corporate and Criminal Litigation.