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Case Analysis: Shilpi Lenka v/s Susanta Kumar Lenka

Shilpi Lenka v/s Susanta Kumar Lenka And Anr

(Criminal Revisional Jurisdiction CRR 978 of 2019)
Shreyash Gupta, Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow
Name Of The Court
In The High Court At Calcutta
The Hon'ble Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul)
Judgement Delivered By:
The Hon'ble Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul)
Name Of The Parties
Mr. Kamalesh Ch. Saha,
Ms. Payel Mitra,
Ms. Mishuk Saha.
Mr. Arnab Chatterjee,
Mr. Biplab Chatterjee,
Mr. Vijay Verma.
Sections Involved
Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
Section 125: states the direction given by the court in awarding the order of maintenance to the wife, children and parents.

Facts Of The Case:

  • The complainant was beaten and psychologically tortured after her marriage. Soon after, the husband joined the Air Force and they separated for a long time.
  • On May 15, 2017, the husband abandoned his wife and daughter and claimed to live alone. The husband is a pensioner and earns about 40,000/- rupees from his job in a bank.
  • An application has been filed seeking maintenance of Rs.25,000/- for the plaintiff and her daughter.
  • The husband was satisfied that she left the house alone and on her will and all the accusations were false. His pension was also suspended.
  • Affidavits were submitted to the judge, including the husband's pay slips, the minor's school fees, and other details; based on these documents, the court ruled that the wife and children were entitled to alimony. The court further noted that the provision applies to the eradication of homelessness and poverty.
  • The awarded maintenance was Rs. 3,000/- to the daughter and Rs. 4,000/- to the wife.
  • The revision petition was filed against the order dated 12th February 2019 under section 125 of Criminal Procedure code 1973

Issue Of The Case:

Whether the amount of support awarded depends on the fact that petitioner left her marital residence without fair and adequate justification?

Arguments Advanced By The Revisionist:

  • It is stated that the applicant has no source of income. The order issued by the court was inconsistent with the provisions of law and the affidavit filed.
  • Request that the order regarding the amount of alimony be modified so that the applicant and the children can meet their basic needs and enjoy a standard of living.

Arguments Advanced By The Respondent:
  • After investigation, it was found that the woman took the child and went away from home on her own initiative. Further, following a complaint to the Air Force Administration, the authority suspended the pension amount mentioned by the petitioner.
  • The respondent initially had a low income, which he used to support his parents and other family members. It was therefore difficult for him to give the plaintiff and the children who had abandoned him the opportunity to make their own decisions.
  • The respondent was ready to welcome the complainant and her children and live a peaceful life. It is therefore requested that the appeal be dismissed.

Judgment By The Court:

  • Based on the complaint filed by the plaintiff, the court ordered the Air Force authorities to suspend pension payments. This reduced the defendant's actual income.
  • As a result of such a reduction, the amount of maintenance requested will also be reduced accordingly.
  • Here, the plaintiff must deal with a complaint filed against the defendant regarding a possible increase in the amount of alimony.
  • The award of alimony by the court will follow the guidelines mentioned in the case of Ranjesh V. Neha. In this case, the Supreme Court established the standards for payment of alimony and ruled on the amount of alimony and the rules under which alimony should be granted. In addition, measures related to the age and employment of the above-mentioned parties, the wife's sources of income, and the support of minor children are included.
  • The court changed the judgment and ordered the child to receive Rs. 5,000 per month, and 3000/- is not enough for a school-going child. The amount of the wife's alimony remains unchanged. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed and all other interim orders were stayed.
A truly challenging situation for a husband arises when the wife cuts off a significant source of income and demands increased alimony. This is obviously against the law and against the interests of justice. Both parties are equal before the law and the courts must ensure that neither party is treated unfairly. While deciding the final judgment the court shall take into account that whether wife has justifiable reasons to leave the house or no and the criteria for awarding the maintenance.

The Calcutta High Court dismissed the wife's application for increased alimony under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) on the ground that it was an abuse of power by the wife to file an application for increased alimony after cutting off her husband's substantial source of income. It amounts to the abuse of the legal system.

So, in conclusion, we see that the Calcutta High Court did not compromise, but severely criticized the wife for her irrational, irresponsible and immature behavior, which resulted in the husband's pension being frozen, thus putting the husband in a real trap dilemma. Got into a very difficult situation. Of course, there is no need to reiterate that the court has made it clear that this constitutes an abuse of legal process and violates the impartiality of justice undeniable.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Shreyash Gupta
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: OT364146469785-2-1023

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