HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH AT JABALPUR
HON’BLE SHRI JUSTICE RAJENDRA KUMAR (VERMA)
ON THE 12th OF MAY, 2023
CRIMINAL REVISION No. 1440 OF 2022
BHAGWANDAS Vs. PANPATI SHAH as on 12 May 2023 , MP HC
The brief facts of the case are that the marriage of the petitioner/husband and respondent/wife has been solemnized on 29.03.2017 as per the Hindu rites and rituals at Amlori Shishu Mandir under the Mukhya Mantri Kanya Daan Yojana. Since the date of marriage, petitioner started to make pressure on the respondent to bring dowry from her parental home and when she denied, petitioner started to torture her and lastly he oust the respondent from his house on 11.08.2017. When no ground was left, respondent/wife file an application under Section 125 Cr.P.C. before the learned Principal Judge Family Court, Singrauli (M.P.) as MJCR No. 120/2018 which was partly allowed vide order dated 25.03.2022, directing the petitioner/husband to pay Rs.10,000/- per month to the respondent/wife. Being aggrieved by the aforesaid order, instant Criminal Revision has been preferred.
Learned counsel for the petitioner/husband submits that the marriage of the petitioner and respondent has been solemnized on 29.03.2017 as per the Hindu rites and rituals at Amlori Shishu Mandir under the scheme of Mukhya Mantri Kanya Daan Yojana. It is further submitted that the respondent/wife has filed an application under Section 125 Cr.P.C. before the Principal Judge, Family Court, Singrauli, stating therein that, from the date of marriage, respondent (petitioner herein) used to misbehave with the applicant (respondent herein) for demand of dowry, she has been ousted on 11.08.2017 from her matrimonial house and since then, she is residing with her parents. Respondent is earning Rs.6,00,000/- from his agricultural business and also have a Pakka House and earning Rs.15,000/- per month on rent from that house and claiming Rs.25,000/- per month as maintenance along with litigation fee.
Petitioner appeared before the learned Family Court and submitted his reply stating therein that there was a settlement between the petitioner and respondent to get money and advantage of Rs.20,000/- from the scheme of Mukhya Mantri Kanya Daan Yojana which was being paid to the spouse who were intended to marry under the scheme. It is further submitted that the respondent has already married with one Sunil Kumar Gupta in the year, 2006-07 and after the lapse of 05-06 years, they both have been separated because of family dispute. Without taking divorce from the first husband, she cannot be said to be the legally wedded wife of the petitioner. On that basis alone, the application for maintenance is not maintainable.
Hon’ble High court mentioned that , As this is a petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C. and the term “wife”under Section 125 Cr.P.C. does not envisage a situation wherein both the parties in the alleged marriage have living spouses, this Court is of the opinion that the Respondent herein cannot seek maintenance from the Petitioner under this provision. This Court finds it unfortunate that many women, specially those belonging to the poorer strata of society, are routinely exploited in this manner, and that legal loopholes allow the offending parties to slip away unscathed. In spite of the social justice factor embedded in Section 125 Cr.P.C., the objective of the provision is defeated as it fails to arrest the exploitation which it seeks to curb. In the instant case, while the Court sympathises with the position of the Respondent, it is constrained to deny her maintenance as per the law of the land which stands as of today. However, the Respondent has the liberty to avail other remedies that may be better suited to the facts and circumstances of this case, such as seeking of compensation under Section 22 of the DV Act.