Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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  • In Smt. Krishna Devi vs State of UP the Hon’ble All. HC has held that a wife does not lose her right to maintenance under section 125 CrPC merely on the ground that she has the sufficient means to sustain herself and her children after selling off some property. 
  • In this case, the revisionist/applicant Krishna Devi had filed an application under section 125 CrPC before the Family Court stating that she had married respondent no. 2 (husband) in 1967 and that three children were born out of wedlock. 
  • It was alleged that the husband had maintained her till 1983, but thereafter the maintenance was stopped by him. She claimed that she was dependent on her brother, who used to provide her with financial assistance, but he had suddenly gone missing. Thus, she sought maintenance from her husband as she had no source of income. 
  • Her application was rejected by the Family Court on the ground that she had not mentioned why she was living separately from her husband, she had sold the property at Farrukhabad and received money after the same, which clearly showed that she had sufficient means to maintain herself and her two children.The husband had also alleged that revisionist had illicit relations with a person, and the same was not denied by her. 
  • The Hon’ble HC observed that the Family Court had not taken into account the fact that since the husband had remarried, he had deserted the revisionist, and hence she was living separately. 
  • The Court also observed that merely because the revisionist had property in Farrukhabad which she had sold to maintain herself and her three children, it could not be inferred that she had lost her right to maintenance under 125 CrPC. If some income had been received by her out of selling the property, the same would not sustain her forever. 
  • Reliance was placed on the decision of the Apex Court in Rajnesh vs Neha (2021) SCC wherein the Apex Court had held that the status of both the husband and the wife has to be looked into, and even if the wife is working and has some means of income, she is entitled to maintenance as per the status of the husband. Maintenance laws have been enacted as a measure of social justice to provide recourse to the dependent wife and children for their financial support so that they do not fall into destitution and vagrancy. 
  • Thus, allowing the revision, the Hon’ble HC held that the Family Court had passed the order without appreciating the facts in totality. The decision appeared to be influenced by factual aspects which were not proven and without adducing them on record. The matter was remanded to the lower Court for fresh adjudication. 
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