KONSAM PUNO SINGH Vs. SOROKHAIBAM NINGOL KONSAM ONGBI GAMBHINI DEVI
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
KONSAM PUNO SINGH
SOROKHAIBAM NINGOL KONSAM ONGBI GAMBHINI DEVI
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Manisana, J. -
(1.)The petitioner is the' husband of respondent No. 1, and rather of respondent Nos. 2 and 3. The respondent No. 2 is aged 5 and respondent No. S is aged 3. The parties are Hindus. The respondents instituted Criminal (Maintenance) Case No. 11/84 in the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Manipur Central. On 25-3-85, the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate ordered the petitioner to pay maintenance allowance of Rs. 100.00. each for respondent Nos. 2 and 3. Maintenance for the wife (respondent No. 1) was refused on the ground that she was earning. The revision against the said order was dismissed by the learned Sessions Judge, Manipur in Criminal Revision Case No. 63(3)1984. Being aggrieved by the said order, this petition has been filed in this Court.
(2.)Mr. Tb. Priyananda Singh, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the children were taken by the mother against the wish of their father and, therefore, the children are not entitled to maintenance; and that no order for maintenance can be passed under Sec. 125 unless neglect or refusal to maintain is proved.
(3.)The question which arises for consideration is whether the father (petitioner) has neglected to maintain the children. Under the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, a mother is entitled to the custody of such minor children. The minor children have been with their mother and father has not been maintaining them on the ground as already stated above. The father has not even offered maintenance to his minor children. A father is under a duty to maintain his children wherever they are. Under Sec. 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, a father is bound to maintain his minor children. The right of minor children to be maintained by his father is a statutory right. However, the right of the minor children also extends to the mother under Sec. 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act. Reading of Sec. 123 Crimial P.C. with Sec. 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, shows that it is the statutory right of the minor children to claim maintenance from his father in the instant case. Therefore, the omission or failure to maintain the minor children amounts to neglect or refusal to maintain his children. In this view of the matter the contention of the learned counsel must fail. Accordingly, the petition is dis- missed. Petition dismissed.
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