The Gujarat High Court observed that for calculation of maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the Court has to take small guess work to conclude the income of husband working in an unorganised sector.

The Court was dealing with a criminal revision application filed by a man under Section 397 read with Section 401 of the CrPC.

A Single Bench of Justice J.C. Doshi held, “It is difficult to assess the income of the self employed person in unorganized sector. The truthful income generally never surfaces. In a proceeding under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C., it is a tendency to avoid placing the correct scenario of the income. Therefore, entertaining the maintenance application, the Court could not come to mathematical precision. The Court in view of that has to take small guess work to conclude the income of the husband.”

Advocate RV Acharya appeared on behalf of the applicant while Advocate Tatvdeep J Jani appeared on behalf of the respondents.

Factual Background -

The destitute lady for herself and her minor daughter preferred an application before the Family Court under Section 125 of CrPC and after battle, she could get relief. The husband instead of satisfying the judgment and order of the court assailed it by way of the revision before the High Court. The marriage between the parties was solemnized in 2004 and during the wed-lock, the parties had one daughter.

After passage of some time, quarrel took place between the parties and in 2016, the wife left the house. She filed an application before the Family Court seeking maintenance and the court directed the husband to pay Rs. 40,000/- as maintenance towards the wife and her daughter. Hence, he approached the High Court.

The High Court in the above context of the case noted, “In the background of evidence produced, if we examine the impugned order, learned Family Court in paragraph 27 onward has assessed and examined this issue and after referring Exhibit-61 believed that in 2013, the husband was getting Rs.1,24,439/- towards the salary. This evidence coming from the document was not accepted by the learned Family Court and also believed that the husband is suppressing his true income. It also appears that the petitioner husband has not produced any income tax returns during the trial.”

The Court referred to the judgment in the case of Kiran Tomar and others v. State of Uttar Pradesh and another -2022 (0) AIJEL – SC 70439 in which it was observed by the Apex Court that income tax returns do not necessarily furnish an accurate guide of the real income particularly when the parties are engaged in matrimonial quarrel. The Court said that there is a tendency of the husband to underestimate his income and hence, it stressed upon that it is for the Family Court to determine on a holistic assessment of the evidence what would be the real income.

“The scope of revision under Section 397 read with Section 401 is limited and circumscribed. The scope is to examine the correctness, legality or perversity in examining the record of any proceeding before the learned Family Court as to the correctness, legality or perversity of any finding arrived at. The revisional scope is limited to set right apparent defect or error of jurisdiction or law. In view of the above discussion and having ascertained the correctness, legality and propriety of the impugned order under the limited revisional jurisdiction, this Court finds no good case for the petitioner. Learned Family Court has assessed all the evidence on record and reached to the conclusion rightly”, it concluded.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the revision application.

Cause Title- Meghrajsinh v. Meghaviniba & Anr.

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