Bombay High Court has ruled that a non-bailable warrant can be issued for the arrest of a man who fails to pay maintenance to his wife under the Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence Act.
The ruling was delivered last week by Justice Roshan Dalvi on a plea filed by a city resident,who had challenged non-bailable warrant issued by a lower court against him for failure to pay maintenance to his wife.
The wife had moved a lower court against her husband for payment of maintenance under the Act. The court asked him to pay maintenance but he failed to do so and arrears mounted to Rs 56,000. The wife then moved court again,seeking arrest of her husband.
The court appointed Flavia Agnes to assist the court as amicus curiae. She drew the attention of the judge to Section 28 (2) of the Act,which says that nothing in Sub-section (1) shall prevent the court from laying down its own procedure for disposing of an application under Section 12 or under Sub-section (2) of Section 23.
HC held that provisions of CrPC relating to maintenance,as also the Domestic Violence Act,are required to be construed so as to benefit those for whom they are enacted. The Magistrate issuing a warrant,therefore,seems to have followed the special procedure for the arrest of husband for non-payment of the maintenance ordered to be paid. Such procedure and procedural order are within the framework of Section 28 (2) of the Domestic Violence Act and hence cannot be faulted, the judge ruled.
Hence,the non-bailable warrant is confirmed. The writ petition filed by the husband is dismissed, the judge said.