“God have mercy on the litigants that appear in his court,” the Punjab & Haryana HC asserted while admonishing a judge belonging to subordinate judiciary. The High Court also directed its Registrar-General to get his conduct examined on the administrative side & never to post him in a “Family Court” again as he appeared to lack “judicial temperament & the desired approach”.
Describing his orders as terrifying & nasty, the Bench added it was notorious in its unlawful consequences.
The damning judicial indictment came on a petition filed by an ex-husband challenging two orders dated Oct 4, 2019, & Nov 29, 2019, passed by the Ludhiana Additional Principal Judge, Family Court, vide which warrants of imprisonment were issued in execution proceedings for recovery of maintenance.
The court was told a notice wasn’t served on the petitioner, yet warrants of imprisonment were issued twice. “Had he not approached this court, he would have been called an ex-jailbird,” Justice Raina said.
The Bench said the “Family Court” acting under the Hindu Marriage Act wasn’t exercising the powers of a Magistrate, who under Section 125 (3), CrPC, could order imprisonment for a month in default of payment of maintenance. “The question of putting the defaulter in prison, to be sent in the proverbial handcuffs, doesn’t arise in the present proceedings in enforcement of arrears of maintenance by the ex-wife.”
Justice Raina made it clear no man could be proceeded against & sent to the civil jail straightaway for recovery of debt without due service of notice & show cause.