Decided on September 30,1974

LEELAMMA Respondents


- (1.) This reference has been made by the Sessions Judge, Trichur, recommending quashing of the order awarding maintenance to the second petitioner in M. C. No. 50 of 1972 on the file of the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Kunnamkulam, on the ground that the order is illegal, as she being a major will not come within the meaning of 'the word "child" in Clause.1 of S.488 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
(2.) The circumstances under which this reference happened to be made can be shortly stated: The revision petitioner in Crl. R. P. No. 14 of 1973 before the Sessions Court, Trichur, is the counter petitioner and the respondents in the revision petition are the petitioners in M. C. No. 50/72 on the file of the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Kunnamkulam. This was an application filed under S.488 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898, claiming maintenance on the allegations that the revision petitioner married the first respondent, in 1950 in accordance with the religious rites and respondents 2 to 4 were born to them during this wedlock and the revision petitioner neglected and failed to maintain the wife and children. The revision petitioner denied the marriage; but admitted the paternity of respondents 2 to 4. He then contended that he had filed an O. P. before the District Court, Trichur, for dissolution of the marriage between him and the first respondent and the same was pending and that he used to send money to the respondents.
(3.) On a consideration of the evidence, the learned Sub Divisional Magistrate found that the first respondent is the legally wedded wife of the revision petitioner, that respondents 2 to 4 are his children, and that the revision petitioner neglected and failed to maintain them. The learned Magistrate also held that the second respondent though attained majority, is admittedly a sick girl without any employment. On these findings, an order was passed awarding maintenance at the rate of Rs. 25/- per month to the first respondent, Rs. 20/- per month to the 2nd respondent and Rs. 15/- each per month to respondents 3 and 4. It was against this order that Crl. R. P. No. 14/73 was filed before the Sessions Court, Trichur.;

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