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Madhya Pradesh HC Allows maintenance under DV Act Despite Section 125 CrPC Rejection

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LI Network

Published on: December 03, 2023 at 12:43 IST

The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently established that a wife, whose application for maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) had been dismissed, can still seek monetary relief under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (DV Act) without impediment.

Justice Prem Narayan Singh clarified that decisions made in cases under Section 125 of CrPC and Section 12 of the DV Act are independent and do not influence each other.

The Court’s order was in response to a criminal revision plea contesting a magistrate’s directive for a husband to pay ₹5,000 as interim maintenance to his wife under the DV Act.

The challenge stemmed from the woman’s prior dismissal under Section 125 CrPC, where the family court determined she had chosen to live separately from her husband willingly. The husband, now retired from the Army and responsible for caring for his parents and a younger sister, opposed the order on these grounds.

However, the wife’s counsel argued that the proceedings under Section 125 CrPC and the DV Act operated differently.

The Court deliberated on the impact of the family court’s Section 125 CrPC order on a subsequent DV Act ruling involving the same party.

It referenced the Supreme Court’s judgment in Nagendrappa Natikar vs Neelamma, establishing that a decision under Section 125 CrPC cannot hinder a wife from seeking remedies under another statute.

The High Court stressed that judgments, except those specified, are irrelevant unless they pertain to the issue or are pertinent under the Evidence Act.

Consequently, the Court concluded that the family court’s findings on insufficient cause for maintenance were irrelevant to the DV Act case.

Additionally, it cited a Supreme Court ruling affirming that an award of maintenance under one statute does not block a claim under another for maintenance.

Hence, the Court dismissed the husband’s petition, considering it lacking in merit.