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A husband/father is duty bound to maintain his wife and child

A husband/father is duty bound to maintain his wife and child. Unless there are very special reasons, the higher Court should not normally stay such an order. In the present case no reason has been mentioned justifying the grant of the stay order.

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IN THE    SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1399   OF 2019

(Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.7203/2019)

Pratima Devi & Anr ……………………….APPLANT

VERSUS

Anand Prakash      ……………….Respondent

O R D E R

  1. Leave granted.
  2. Though served, no one appears for the respondent. The appellants, the wife and minor son of the respondent had filed a petition for grant of maintenance under Section 125of the Criminal Procedure Code before the Principal Judge, Family Court, Karkardooma Courts, Delhi. The Principal Judge by order dated 03.10.2017 passed an order granting maintenance @ Rs.20,000/- to the appellants, (Rs. 10,000/- to the wife and Rs. 10,000/- to the minor son). This order was passed ex-parte. The respondent filed an application for setting aside the Signature Not Verified ex-parte order which application was rejected on Digitally signed by CHARANJEET KAUR Date: 2019.09.17 17:03:02 IST Reason: 05.09.2018. Aggrieved, the respondent filed criminal revision No. 986 of 2018 before the High Court. Along with revision petition an application for stay was filed. The orders passed in the said petitions read as follows :

“Trial Court record be requisitioned. List on 25th November, 2019. in the meantime, execution proceedings be kept in abeyance.”

  1. We are constrained to observe that this order shows total non-application of mind on the part of the High court. This was a case where maintenance had been granted to a wife and to a minor son. The High Court without recording any reason whatsoever, has stayed the grant of maintenance both to the wife and to the minor son. This should not be done. A husband/father is duty bound to maintain his wife and child. Unless there are very special reasons, the higher Court should not normally stay such an order. In the present case no reason has been mentioned justifying the grant of the stay order.
  2. We, therefore, set aside the impugned order and direct the payment of maintenance as awarded by the Family Court. We, however, make it clear that the High Court after hearing the parties may pass an appropriate reasoned order. We make it clear that this order will not come in the way of the High Court confirming, modifying or vacating the order of the Family Court.
  3. The appeal is, accordingly disposed of.

……………..J.

[ DEEPAK GUPTA ] ……………….J.

[ ANIRUDDHA BOSE ]