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Abhishek (Advocate)     29 September 2009

Maintenance from In-Laws by Wife

Dear All Forum Member,

Please provide me some judgements on the following issue:

Whether the wife is having the right to claim the maintenance from her In-Laws i.e. Father in Law & Mother in Law if her husband is no more.

Please assist me and provide me some judgements in both the situations






 10 Replies

Manish Singh (Advocate)     29 September 2009

yes the wife is entitled to be maintained by the inlaws after her husband's death. no need of case laws as this an express provision under statutes.

Kamal Grover (Advocate High Court Chandigarh M:09814110005 email:adv.kamal.grover@gmail.com)     29 September 2009

Yes you can claim and will get the maintenance, if you are not capable in earning. but you have right in the husbands share and property.



Kamal Grover (Advocate High Court Chandigarh M:09814110005 email:adv.kamal.grover@gmail.com)     29 September 2009

Provide us the detail of property in the name of your husband and your inlaws property and your education and children and other details.



Abhishek (Advocate)     30 September 2009

Thanx for the reply, i know there is an express provision but there are ceratin conditions which has to be fulfilled, Section 18 & 19 of the Hindu Adoptions & Maintennace Act deals exclusively for it, but there are certain express and implied conditions which has to be fulfilled.

The important question is, if the in-laws are not capable of earning and have no property then from where they will maintain their daughter in law and also there is a condition that if the daughter in law remarry's then under those circumstances she is not entitle. Those are all there in the statute, i agree with you, but i need certain judgements which says that the wife is not entitle for the maintenance if the above conditions are applicable in the case.

Please do the needful.



gora chamber oflaw Rajender Kumar (advocate )     30 September 2009


Ved Parkash VS. Leena Kahar and Another
1996-(102)-CR.L.J -2703 -P&H;
JUDGE(S): P K Jain
Criminal Revn. No. 505 of 1995, (Against order of Gurmail Singh Dhillon, PCS, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Patiala, D/- 28-4-1995.) dated February 12, 1986.
Kuldip Sanwal, for Petitioner. Jasbir Sharma, for Respondents.
The short question which falls for decision in these proceedings is "Whether under S. 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the Code), the parents-in-law can be made liable to pay maintenance to their widowed daughter-in-law and grand children?"
2. The backdrop in which the aforesaid question is to be answered is that Smt. Leena Kahar respondent No. 1 was married with Anil Kumar in the year 1991 and out of this wedlock a mala child respondent No. 2 herein, was born. Unfortunately Shri Anil Kumar died in July 1993. After his death, the petitioners who are the parents of the deceased, harassed and turned out their widowed daughter-in-law Smt. Leena Kahar and their grand son Gaurav, the respondents herein.
3. On an application filed by Smt. Leena Kahar and her minor son under S. 125 of the Code, the Judicial Magistrate, Patiala by the impugned order dated 28-4-1995 directed the petitioners jointly to pay Rs. 400/- per month as maintenance to their said widowed daughter-in-law and Rs. 200/- per month to the grand son. It has been held that the respondents herein were unable to maintain themselves and the petitioners being the parents-in-laws, are liable to pay maintenance to the respondents herein. While fixing the quantum of maintenance as stated above, the petitioners have been directed to pay the same with effect from the date of filing of the application.
4. Feeling aggrieved the parents-in-law i.e. Shri Ved Parkash and his wife Smt. Chander Kanta, the petitioners have approached this Court by way of revision under S. 401 of the Code. The impugned order has been challenged solely on the ground that under the aforesaid provision of law, they cannot be directed to pay any maintenance to the respondents and as such the impugned order is bad in law.
5. The answer to the question turns on the construction of S.125 of the Code which is a reincarnation of S. 488 of the old Code except for the fact that the parents are also brought into the category of persons eligible for maintenance and legislative cognizance is taken of the devaluation of the rupee and the escalation of living costs by raising the maximum allowance for maintenance from Rs. 100/- to Rs. 500/-. The relevant portion of this section reads as under:-
"125. Order for maintenance of wives, children and parents:-
(1) If any person having sufficient means neglects or refuses to maintain -
(a) his wife, unable to maintain herself, or
(b) his legitimate or illegitimate minor child, whether married or not, unable to maintain itself, or
(c) his legitimate or illegitimate child (not being a married daughter) who has attained majority, where such child is, by reason of any physical or mental abnormality or injury unable to maintain itself, or
(d) his father or mother, unable to maintain himself or herself,
a Magistrate of the first class may, upon proof of such neglect or refusal, order such person to make a monthly allowance for the maintenance of his wife or such child, father or mother, at such monthly rate not exceeding five hundred rupees in the whole, as such Magistrate thinks fit, and to pay the same to such person as the Magistrate may from time to time direct:
Provided that the Magistrate may order the father of a minor female child referred to in clause (b) to make such allowance, until she attains her majority, if the Magistrate is satisfied that the husband of such minor female child, if married, is not possessed of sufficient means.
Explanation - For the purposes of this Chapter:-
(a) "minor" means a person who, under the provisions of the Indian Majority Act, 1875 (9 of 1875) is deemed not to have attained his majority;
(b) "wife" includes a woman who has been divorced by, or has obtained a divorce from, her husband and has not remarried ....."
This Section is intended to provide a cheap and speedy, but limited relief, for deserted wives and neglected children and parents. So that they are not left beggared and destituted on the scrap-heap of the society and thereby driven to a life of vegrancy, immorality and crime for their subsistence.
6. The provisions of the above section are independent of personal law or any custom governing the parties and the latter cannot be imported into it. The right of maintenance in this section is distinct statutory right which the legislature has recognized irrespective of the nationality or creed of the party. The entire scheme of the section is self contained. The scope of this section is limited in respect of the persons who are entitled to claim maintenance and the person who are liable to pay such maintenance there under. It is by no means, however, the only, or indeed the most satisfactory remedy open to the original claimants. They may file a regular suit for maintenance in which case there is no limit to the award of the maintenance and the scope of the persons who are entitled to claim maintenance and those who are liable to pay is widened.
7. From a bare reading of - Section 125 of the Code reproduced above, it is evident that only wife, legitimate or illegitimate children and the parents are entitled to claim maintenance. No provision has been made therein whereby a widowed daughter-in-law or grant children can claim maintenance. Further the husband of the wife, father of the children and son or daughter of the parents can be directed to pay maintenance under certain circumstances mentioned therein. But there is no provision in the entire scheme of this section whereby parents-in-law can be directed to pay maintenance to their widowed daughter-in-law or the grand children.
8. It is true that the respondents herein are entitled to claim maintenance under Ss. 19 and 22 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, but, as already stated the provisions of the personal law of the parties cannot be imported into the present section. The consistent view taken by the Punjab Chief Court and the Lahore High Court has also been that under S. 488 of the old Code (S. 125 of the present Code) a father-in-law cannot be made liable to pay maintenance to his daughter-in-law. Reference in this regard may be made to Emperor v. Miran, (1903) 26 PR 1903, Emperor v. Warayam Singh, AIR 1914 Lahore 339 (1): (1914 (15) Cri LJ 577) and Sohna Singh, v. Kartar Kaur, AIR 1931 Lahore 532: (1931 (32) Cri LJ 1175). Faced with the express provisions of the law and the precedents cited above, the learned counsel did not make any attempt to support the legality of the impugned order passed by the Magistrate. It appears that the pointed attention of the Judicial Magistrate was not drawn to this legal aspect of the case vis-à-vis the provisions of S. 125 of the Code.
9. As a result of the above discussions, it is held that the petitioners cannot be made liable under S. 125 of the Code to pay maintenance to the respondents herein, since neither the petitioners nor the respondents fall within the categories envisaged by the said provisions of the Code. As a consequence, this petition is accepted and the impugned order dated 28-4-1995 passed by the Judicial Magistrate, Patiala is hereby set aside, being bad in law.
Petition allowed.
1 Like

Deekshitulu.V.S.R (B.Sc, B.L)     01 October 2009

Yes the law is that a wife can claim maintenance against her in-Laws in case the husband is dead

Abhishek (Advocate)     01 October 2009

Thanks alot.


Is there any judgement which overrides the Domestic Violence Act in which the widowed  wife/ daughter in law is granted maintenance.

Rayomand (Lawyer)     28 October 2009

 No, the wife is not at all entitled for maintenance by in laws. The Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of vimalben / vatslabeen Hon'ble Justice Sinha & Sirpurkar observed that the Daughter in law is not entitled to claim maintenance from her in laws if they have self acquired Property & not ancestral Property. Even in the Ancestral Property she is only entitled for the share what her husband would have been entitled to & not any more.



Can any body post the judgement saying wife not entitled for maintenance from In-laws;

I too am hit by all materimonial cases,

wife claims maintenance from my father & mother, the property RTC card & photographs are attached.

We were aquented from 498a, she filies 125 & gets interime maintenance of 500/-, files DV case on me, my father & my mother, gets interime maintenance of another 500/-.

she claims all the relifes from my fathers property, this property is build by my father & not ansistrial.

please forward me any judgements which are usefull.



galsober@yahoo.co.in (def)     07 May 2011

DV Act: wife can not claim In-Laws self-acquired property.

Cite Apex Court's TARUNA BATRA case.

Best wishes

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