Why Marry If You Can’t Maintain Wife, Kids: Madras HC [Read Judgment]
The husband will be ready to spend any amount on matrimonial litigation, but he will not have the heart to pay a paltry sum towards maintenance to his wife and children, the court observed.
The Madras High Court, while disposing of revision petition against a maintenance case, has observed that there is unreasonable delay on the part of family courts in disposing of the maintenance petitions and it affects women and children very much.
“Ultimately, they give up the legal battle, leave the Court with wounded feelings. And ex parte orders are freely passed. The erring husbands happily leave the Court. There is a victor and a vanquished. The result is failure of justice in gender justice. These are stark realities staring at our face,” said Justice P Devadass.
The court also observed that the women and children are made to wait for several years and till the orders are passed, they suffer in silence. This is not the aim of law. This is not a correct justice delivery system, the court remarked.
Remain bachelor if you cannot maintain wife, kids
Justice Devadass further observed that it is sacred duty of a husband to maintain his wife and children. “Otherwise why should he marry a woman and leave her and her children in lurch in the street. If he is not in a position to maintain her and the children, he should have remained a bachelor,” the judge remarked.
Short order would suffice
The court also observed that the judges who deal with these maintenance petitions need not write lengthy orders running to several pages, as it is just a miscellaneous petition for interim measure which can be disposed of in first hearing or in the next hearing or at least in the further hearing.
Quotable quotes from judgment
In view of the mad rush in matrimonial Courts, it is very easy to go into these Courts, but very difficult to come out of these Courts within a short span of time. It is time consuming.
If statistics of the pendency of these maintenance petitions are called for from these Courts and studied, we have to hang our heads, we will be ashamed to see the face of the affected women and children.
The learned Judges try these simple maintenance petitions like a murder case in a Sessions Court or a most complicated suit before a Civil Court.
The women and children are standing in queues in these Courts to get relief even in these simple maintenance petitions for years together. It is quite a sickening sight.
The husband will be ready to spend any amount on matrimonial litigation but he will not have the heart to pay a paltry sum towards maintenance to his wife and children.
Unreasonable delay in the disposal of these simple maintenance petitions exhibits inefficiency on the part of the learned Judges.
In these matters delayed justice is denial of or burial of justice. Here hurried justice is the need of the hour
Directions for speedy disposal of maintenance cases
The court has issued following directions for speedy disposal of maintenance cases. (These directions have been issued in another case which is quoted in the judgment):
On or before 7th of every month, the Family Courts, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Judicial Magistrates, Subordinate Judges, Fast-Track Mahila Courts, Sessions Courts, District Courts through their respective Principal District Judges, Chief Judicial Magistrates, as the case may be, shall submit a monthly statement showing the date of filing of the maintenance petitions filed under various enactments, under uncodified part of Hindu law or Islamic Law under Section 125 Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, Domestic Violence Act including the petitions filed for interim maintenance and the stage of the petitions, the reasons for pendency to the Registrar (Judicial), High Court.
The Principal District Judges, Chief Judicial Magistrates, as the case may be, shall review the disposal of these maintenance petitions every month and issue necessary directions for the early disposal of all type 18 of maintenance petitions and submit their review report with their remarks to the Registrar (Judicial), High Court on or before 15th of every month.
The Registrar (Judicial) of this Court shall regularly monitor the progress in these maintenance petitions and also issue appropriate instructions and directions for the expeditious and early disposal of these maintenance matters.
In their said monthly statements, the said Courts shall also furnish details of stay granted by the Sessions Court or this Court in the proceedings arising out of maintenance matters or in any parallel or other connected proceedings.
The Registrar (Judicial) will consolidate the details regularly and take appropriate action for their early disposal by obtaining necessary orders.
The Registrar (Judicial) will prepare a format containing columns for filling up the required details in monthly statements to be submitted to this Court by the Subordinate Courts.
On entering appearance for the respondent, in Civil Miscellaneous Appeal, Civil Revisions, Criminal Revisions arising out of the maintenance matters they shall be referred to mediation and referring them to Lok Adalat or Mega Lok Adalat shall also be encouraged.
The Registrar (Judicial) will regularly identify the Civil Appeals, Civil Revisions, Criminal Revisions arising out of the maintenance matters pending in this Court and take necessary action for their early disposal by getting necessary orders.
Read the Judgment here.