By Yash Gupta
Citation - (2018) 8 SCC 452
The Supreme Court, on an earlier occasion, has passed an order disposing of the petition and directing the matter to be adjudicated by the High Court due to its pendency. Thereafter, the petitioner sought a review petition on the ground that the order direction of the matter being remitted the High Court was erroneous as there were no pending proceedings under the Domestic Violence (DV) Act. In pursuance of the same, the Supreme Court restored the SLP.
The complainant is the wife of the respondent. They have been living separately for nearly
ten years, since their marriage in 2007. In 2009, the plaintiff requested maintenance pursuant to DV Act section 12. The learned Metropolitan Magistrate granted interim maintenance at Rs. 2,50,000/- per month and compensation at Rs.1,00,000/- effective from the date the claim was filed. An execution petition was immediately filed because of the Respondent's dishonor to the said order. In the meantime, the respondent challenged the Metropolitan Magistrate's order in Additional Session Judge Court, Delhi, which ordered the respondent to deposit maintenance arrears within 2 months. Failing to comply even with this decision, the respondent's appeal was dismissed. Therefore, the respondent tried the High Court appeal and eventually the Supreme Court, which was not entertained. Unfortunately, the High Court referred the matter to Mediation which also failed. The High Court then passed an order to pay Rs.5,00,000/- on or before September 30, 2013, and another Rs.5,00,000/- sum on or before October 31, 2013. In view of the maintenance arrears imposed by the Family Court, the plaintiff requested an amendment to the order. The petitioner also filed an SLP on execution proceedings requesting a relief on the stay. This was converted into an appeal on the grant of leave which was allowed and execution order granted.
The Respondent was sent to judicial custody till 22 December, 2014 for not clearing the
entire arrears on maintenance. Thereafter, the maintenance amount was reduced to Rs.
50,000/- per month. This order was challenged by the petitioner. The Respondent also
challenged the order for further reduction which was dismissed by the High Court. Finally,
the amount came to be accepted by the Respondent.
It was held that proceedings under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,
2005 were summary in nature and, thus, after a thorough review of the records submitted by
both parties, the Court held that the factual significance of the relevant facts could only be
adjudicated through cross-examination.
The present petition is disposed of by granting the petitioner the right to transfer the
subsequent request for maintenance under the applicable provisions of the Hindu Adoptions
and Maintenance Act, 1956 or Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, which is to be determined promptly.
No fixed amount of maintenance was ascertained but it was decided to not be less than Rs.
50,000/- per month as it has already attained finality against the respondent-husband.
Meanwhile, the respondent was directed to continue to pay interim maintenance of Rs.
50,000/- per month to the petitioner.