A Delhi Court has ordered release of a man lodged in a jail for over six months after his failure to pay the arrears of maintenance amount awarded to his wife.
Additional Session Judge (ASJ) Vijay Kumar Dahiya directed release of a man,a resident of Najafgarh in West Delhi,who was behind bars since October last year.
The session court gave its judgement on the plea of the man who came in appeal against the magistrate court’s verdict,which had ordered attachment of his property and remanded him in jail for a period of one month as he failed to pay the arrears of maintenance to his estranged wife since their divorce in 2009.
However,the man was not released and his detention was further extended for another one month by the magistrate on the plea of the wife. He remained in jail for over six months.
Earlier,the magistrate had awarded interim maintenance of Rs 1,500 per month on the woman’s plea seeking relief under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
Being aggrieved with the magistrate court’s order denying his release,the man moved the session court in December,2011.
“I am of the opinion that the order (of magistrate) is per se illegal,” the ASJ said quashing the magistrate’s order.
“Therefore,the order is hereby set aside. Needless to say,that the respondent (woman) is at liberty to take action against the appellant (man) in the court of competent jurisdiction for future defaults of payment of arrears of maintenance of each English calender month,if so advised. Appeal is thus disposed off accordingly,” the ASJ said.
The counsel for the man had contended that the trial court is only empowered to impose sentence in case of non compliance of order under relevant provision of law but such sentence cannot exceed more than one month.
“The accused is behind the bar for more than one month as such custody of the man for more than one month in default of payment of arrears is illegal,” he had said.