Where the wife had voluntarily left her husband’s house without any reason and was not thrown with force from her matrimonial home or she was not forced to leave her matrimonial home, she would not be entitled to claim maintenance from her husband. This is what has been held by a single bench of Justice Jarat Kumar Jain of Madhya Pradesh high court, Indore bench, in the case of Anil S/o Shri Suganchandra Jain vs. Smt. Sunita W/o Shri Anil Kumar Jain [Criminal Revision No. 829 of 2014; decided on 29 November 2016].
In this case, the applicant and the non-applicant got married on 20.04.2008 and they lived together first time for 7 days and second time for 12 days i.e. 11.05.2008 to 22.05.2008. Thereafter, wife had left matrimonial home and since then she was living in her parental home at Ratlam. She is an enrolled Advocate since 1991.
The wife had filed an application under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. for maintenance stating that when she lived in her matrimonial home since 11.05.2008 to 22.05.2008 during that period her husband and mother-in-law had so harassed her that she was forced to leave her matrimonial home, before leaving the matrimonial home. The Trial Court directed the husband to pay maintenance @ Rs.4,000/- per month from the date of order. Being aggrieved the husband filed revision application before the high court.
The high court held that admittedly after marriage wife lived in her matrimonial home first time for 7 days. There is no allegation that during that period she was harassed by her in-laws, thereafter she lived in her matrimonial home from 11.05.2008 to 22.05.2008 i.e. for 12 days, thereafter she was forced to leave her matrimonial home. The high court referred to Para 9 of her deposition in which she admitted that she was having a mobile phone and used to talk with her brother, however, she had not made any complaint about her harassment to her brother. She left matrimonial home with her brother Anil. But she had not made any complaint to anybody or lodged a report at Police Station. On the other hand, her brother Anil Chhajed had deposed that on 22.05.2008 she came to Ratlam to select a girl for his marriage. Anil did not depose that she had complained to him about harassment in her matrimonial home. In the cross-examination of the husband no question was asked about alleged cruelty and harassment.
The high court referred to the judgment of the M.P. High Court in the case of Savita Bai V/s. Prahlad, 2013 (3) M.P. Weekly Note 77, in which after marriage Savita Bai resided only for 8 days in the house of her husband and thereafter, she left the house without any reason and was unable to prove the charge of harassment. Under such circumstances, in that case, the High Court had held that the wife iwa not entitled for maintenance. In the present case also, the high court held that the wife resided in her matrimonial home for the first time for 7 days and second time for 12 days and it is alleged that in these 12 days she was harassed. The high court observed that it is practically impossible that she could have been so harassed that it was impossible for her to live in her matrimonial home. After 12 days she had voluntarily gone with her brother with a view to select a girl for marriage of her brother. Thus, it could not be held that she was thrown with force from her matrimonial home or she was forced to leave her matrimonial home.
In these circumstances, the high court held that the finding of the Trial Court that wife had sufficient reason to live separately was not sustainable in law and that the wife was residing separately without any reason, hence, she was not entitled for maintenance under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. Thus, the order passed by the Trial Court was set-aside.
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