Section 125 Cr.P.C.
Section 125 Cr.P.C. is a piece of social legislation which provides for a summary and speedy relief by way of maintenance to a wife who is unable to maintain herself and her children. Section 125 is not intended to provide for a full and final determination of the status and personal rights of parties, which is in the nature of a civil proceeding, though are governed by the provisions of the Cr.P.C. and the order made under Section 125 Cr.P.C. is tentative and is subject to final determination of the rights in a civil court.
11. In a decision, in the case of Pyla Mutyalamma @ Satyavathi v. Pyla Suri Demudu as reported in 2011 (12) SCC 189 the Hon’ble Apex Court had identified the scope of revisional power to be exercised with regard to the cases relating to Section 125 Cr.P.C. and has held under para-14, 15, 16 which are as follows:-
Power of Court to increase or decrease maintenance
14. In fact, we also find sufficient substance in the plea that the High Court in its revisional jurisdiction ought not to have entered into a scrutiny of the finding recorded by the Magistrate that the appellant was a married wife of the respondent, before allowing an application determining maintenance as it is well-settled that the revisional court can interfere only if there is any illegality in the order or there is any material irregularity in the procedure or there is an error of jurisdiction.
15. The High Court under its revisional jurisdiction is not required to enter into re- appreciation of evidence recorded in the order granting maintenance; at the most it could correct a patent error of jurisdiction. It has been laid down in a series of decisions including Suresh Mandal vs. State of Jharkhand ((2006) 1 AIR Jhar R 153) that in a case where the learned Magistrate has granted maintenance holding that the wife had been neglected and the wife was entitled to maintenance, the scope of interference by the revisional court is very limited. The revisional court would not substitute its own finding and upset the maintenance order recorded by the Magistrate.
Quantum of maintenance is a finding of fact which cannot be revised
16. In revision against the maintenance order passed in proceedings under Section 125, Cr.P.C., the revisional court has no power to re-assess evidence and substitute its own findings. Under revisional jurisdiction, the questions whether the applicant is a married wife, the children are legitimate/illegitimate, being pre-eminently questions of fact, cannot be reopened and the revisional court cannot substitute its own views. The High Court, therefore, is not required in revision to interfere with the positive finding in favour of the marriage and patronage of a child. But where finding is a negative one, the High Court would entertain the revision, re-evaluate the evidence and come to a conclusion whether the findings or conclusions reached by the Magistrate are legally sustainable or not as negative finding has evil consequences on the life of both child and the woman. This was the view expressed by the Supreme Court in the matter of Santosh vs. Naresh Pal ((1998) 8 SCC 447) , as also in the case of Parvati Rani Sahoo vs. Bishnu Sahoo ((2002)10 SCC 510). Thus, the ratio decidendi which emerges out of a catena of authorities on the efficacy and value of the order passed by the Magistrate while determining maintenance under Section 125, Cr.P.C. is that it should not be disturbed while exercising revisional jurisdiction