The remark “the first and foremost duty of the husband is to maintain the wife and child” and for this “he may beg, borrow or steal”, has once again found its place in a recent Punjab and Haryana High Court order in a maintenance case, LiveLaw has reported.
The remark is seen quoted in a recent order delivered by Justice HS Madaan while dismissing plea of a man challenging a family court order jailing him for not paying maintenance to his wife.
As per the report, the remark was made in an order delivered by Justice Jitendra Chauhan in a 2013 order in Sunita Kumar Vs Rita case.
The family court, in the present case, sentenced the man to jail for 12 months for not paying arrears of maintenance allowance amounting to Rs 91,000 to his wife.
The man approached the high court against the family court order contending that he could only be sentenced for one month in jail.
The bench, rejecting the argument, referred to the earlier judgement which had held that court is open to order sentence up to a maximum of one month for each month of default committed by the person ordered to pay maintenance.
The court order had said that the purpose of sending a person to jail is not to wipe out the liability which the person has refused to discharge and that monthly allowance is paid in order to enable the wife and child to provide essential economic necessities.
“Neither the neglected wife nor the neglected child can live without funds for purchasing food and the essential articles to enable them to survive. The first and foremost duty of the husband is to maintain the wife and the child. He may beg, borrow or steal.” remarked the order.
As per the report, the High Court, referring to the said judgement, dismissed the petition.
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