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Maintenance Awarded To Wife Under Domestic Violence Act Cannot Be Enhanced under S.127 CrPC: Karnataka HC

[28 February 2022] The Karnataka High Court has held that maintenance awarded to an estranged wife under the provisions of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, cannot be enhanced on an application made by her under section 127 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
A single judge bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna observed,
“A maintenance that is awarded under Section 125 of the CrPC can be varied in an application filed under Section 127 of the CrPC. What is sine qua-non is that an order of maintenance should precede a petition under Section 127 of the CrPC, failing which, a petition under Section 127 of the CrPC seeking enhancement of maintenance is not available.”
The court quashed the orders passed by the magistrate court enhancing the maintenance amount granted to the wife under Section 12 of the DV Act from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000, which was confirmed by the sessions judge.
The bench held, “It is an undisputed fact that the respondent-wife invoked the provisions of the Act in which maintenance was awarded. It is also an admitted fact that there is no proceeding initiated by the respondent-wife invoking Section 125 of the CrPC. Therefore, without there being any determination of maintenance under Section 125 of the CrPC petition under Section 127 of the CrPC is not maintainable.”

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