Whether Application U/s 483 CrPC Seeking Direction to Family Court for expeditious Disposal of Section 125 CrPC is Maintainable? Allahabad HC Answers

In an important judgement, the Allahabad High Court has held that an application under Section 483 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is maintainable for issuing a direction to a Family Court to decide an application under Section 125 CrPC expeditiously.

The ruling came in a case titled “Shiva Pankaj And Another vs State Of U.P. Thru. Prin. Secy. Home Lko And Another” [APPLICATION U/S 483 No. – 426 of 2024].

The case was heard by a single-judge bench of Justice Subhash Vidyarthi.

Background

The applicants, Shiva Pankaj and his daughter, had filed an application under Section 125 CrPC before the Family Court in Lucknow, seeking maintenance from the husband/father (opposite party no. 2). However, the Family Court had not decided their interim maintenance application expeditiously, despite the statutory mandate under the third proviso to Section 125(1) CrPC to dispose of such applications within 60 days of issuing notice.

Aggrieved by the delay, the applicants filed the present application under Section 483 CrPC before the High Court, seeking a direction to the Family Court to decide their pending interim maintenance application expeditiously.

Key Legal Issues

1. Whether an application under Section 483 CrPC is maintainable for issuing a direction to a Family Court regarding a case under Section 125 CrPC.

2. Whether the Family Court exercises the jurisdiction of a Judicial Magistrate while deciding applications under Section 125 CrPC.

Court’s Observations and Decision

On the first issue, the learned AGA raised a preliminary objection that under Section 483 CrPC, the High Court exercises superintendence over courts of Judicial Magistrates subordinate to it. Since the applicants sought a direction to the Additional Principal Judge of the Family Court, who is not a Magistrate, the application under Section 483 CrPC was not maintainable.

However, the Court rejected this objection, relying on a full bench judgement of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Rajesh Shukla v. Meena & Anr. The Court observed:

“As the Family Court exercises jurisdiction of judicial magistrate while deciding an application under Section 125 Cr.P.C., an application under Section 483 Cr.P.C. seeking a direction to the Family Court for expeditious disposal of an application under Section 125 Cr.P.C. would be maintainable.”

On the second issue, the Court noted that under Section 7(2)(a) of the Family Courts Act, a Family Court has the jurisdiction exercisable by a Magistrate of the First Class under Chapter IX (relating to maintenance orders) of the CrPC. Therefore, while deciding an application under Section 125 CrPC, the Family Court exercises the jurisdiction of a Judicial Magistrate.

Also Read

Allowing the application, the Court directed the Family Court to dispose of the pending interim maintenance application expeditiously, keeping in view the 60-day statutory timeline under the third proviso to Section 125(1) CrPC.

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