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MALKHAN SINGH v. KRISHNA DEVI & Ors - RSA-942-2005  RD-P&H 19 (20 May 2005)
Malkhan Singh v. Smt.Krishna Devi and others Present:- Mr.Anupam Bansal, Advocate,
for the appellant.
Mr.Chander Shekhar, Advocate,
for the respondents.
Ashutosh Mohunta, J.
Defendant Malkhan Singh has filed this appeal to challenge the judgment and decree dated 25.8.2004 passed by the Civil Judge (Senior Division), Kurukshetra, whereby the suit for maintenance and for permanent injunction under Sections 18 and 20 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, filed by the wife and the daughter has been decreed in their favour, as well as the judgment and decree dated 20.1.2005 passed by the District Judge, Kurukshetra, dismissing his appeal against the judgment of the trial Court.
In short, the facts giving rise to this appeal are that Malkhan Singh married Smt.Krishna Devi in the year 1970. The relations between the husband and wife got estranged and she started living separately from her husband in the year 1972. However, out of the wedlock a daughter, namely, Rekha alias Anita was born on 15.11.1974. The wife and the daughter filed the present suit under R.S.A.No.942 of 2005
Section 18 and 20 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act on 16.5.2003, and they claimed maintenance at the rate of Rs.3000/- per month each as well as an amount of Rs.3,00,000/- from the defendant-appellant on the ground that the daughter Rekha alias Anita has to be married and they claimed marriage expenses from the appellant. The defendant-appellant contested the suit on the following three grounds.
1. Rekha was not born out of the wedlock as his wife Smt.Krishna Devi had started living separately from him in the year 1972 and the daughter could not take birth from his loins.
2. Rekha alias Anita was already on 1.7.1994 by him with one Rajesh Kumar son of Tek Chand, resident of Budhlada and, thus, no question of second marriage could arise. It had further been pleaded by him that the amount of Rs.3,00,000/- is much on the higher side for him to bear the expenses of the marriage.
3. The monthly maintenance at the rate of Rs.3,000/- to each one of them was much on the higher side.
The Civil Judge (Senior Division), Kurukshetra, vide judgment and decree dated 25.8.2004 decreed the suit of the plaintiffs and ordered the amount of Rs.3,00,000/- to be deducted out of the retiral benefits to be paid to him on his retirement on 31.5.2003 in order to meet out the expenses of marriage of Rekha alias Anita. The trial Court also allowed monthly maintenance to the tune of R.S.A.No.942 of 2005
Rs.1,000/- each to the wife and the daughter. The appeal filed by Malkhan Singh defendant was also dismissed by the District Judge, Kurukshetra, vide judgment and decree dated 20.1.2005. Now Malkhan Singh has filed the present appeal to challenge the judgments and decrees passed by both the Courts below.
I have heard the learned counsel for the parties and perused the case file.
The following questions arise for consideration before this Court in the present appeal:-
1. Whether or not Rekha alias Anita is the daughter of the defendant and he liable to bear the expenses for her marriage?
2. Whether or not Rekha was married earlier, as alleged by the appellant?
3. Whether or not the amount of Rs.3,00,000/- is excessive to meet the marriage expenses of Rekha?
4. Whether or not the estranged wife and the daughter are entitled to claim maintenance from the appellant and also that the amount of Rs.1,000/- allowed to each one of them is on the higher side? So far as the objection raised by the appellant that Rekha alias Anita is not his daughter, is concerned, the same cannot be sustained in view of his statement dated 9.2.1979 in the matrimonial proceedings wherein though he earlier R.S.A.No.942 of 2005
refused to admit Anita as his daughter, but thereafter, he categorically stated that he admitted her to be his daughter. Moreover, in case the wife started living separately from the appellant in the year 1972, it does not mean that he did not have any access to her thereafter at all. Anyhow, in view of his admission, the appellant cannot be allowed to take the stand that Anita alias Rekha was not his daughter.
So far as the stand taken by the appellant that Anita was already married on 1.7.1994 by him with one Rajesh Kumar of Budhlada is concerned, Anita has flatly denied that she was ever married to Rajesh Kumar. The defendant did not adduce any oral or documentary evidence in support of his assertion with regard to her marriage with one Rajesh Kumar on 1.7.1994. No marriage card or photograph has been placed on record by him. Consequently, it cannot be said that Anita was earlier married to Rajesh Kumar of Budhlada on 1.7.1994.
The contest raised by the appellant with regard to marriage expenses to the tune of Rs.3,00,000/- being on the higher side, is also without force. He himself has alleged that he had spent a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- in the marriage of Anita alias Rekha with Rajesh Kumar of Budhlada on 1.7.1994. In case a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- could be spent in the year 1994, then definitely, after more than ten years, the amount of Rs.3,00,000/- cannot be held to be excessive by any stretch of R.S.A.No.942 of 2005
The contention raised by the learned counsel for the appellant is that the plaintiff-respondents are running a General Store at Chatravas Road, Kaithal, and are earning Rs.20,000/- per month therefrom. However, the assertion made by the appellant has not been fortified by leading any cogent evidence. He has not led any evidence in order to prove his assertion in this respect. His bald statement without any corroborative evidence cannot be accepted. Anyhow, the grant of maintenance at the rate of Rs.1,000/- per month to each of the respondents cannot be considered to be on the higher side in the present set up of life.
In the light of the above, I do not find any infirmity in the well- reasoned judgments and decrees passed by both the Courts below.
Consequently, there is no merit in this appeal. It is, accordingly, dismissed in limine.
May 16, 2005. ( Ashutosh Mohunta )
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