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Sridevi S   15 May 2020

rights of widow

I am 25 years old woman. I lost my husband in 2018 due to cardiac arrest. I continued staying in my in law's house after my husband's death. At that state of mind, I decided to stay there only for some time but in current state of mind. I want to return to my parent's home. My query is that My husband's PF money and insurance money is with my in law's as they said we will give once you need them. But now if they refuse to give me my husband's money. Do I have legal rights to take back money? and more question is Do I have property rights on my laws property? The property is hardwork of my father in law. It is not ancestral property. I don't have kids.


 7 Replies

SHIRISH PAWAR, 7738990900 (Advocate)     15 May 2020


You are entitle for PF and insurance of your husband and you will be entitle for husband's share in the property after your father in law. So you have to take decision carefully.



Archit Uniyal   15 May 2020


The Madras High Court in the Mrs.Yamuna Dhevi vs Mrs.D.Nalini (2009) held that a widow is entitled to receive the amount that had accumulated in the Provident Fund account of her late husband even if she had remarried since the bar under Section 24 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 to inherit the properties of her husband as his legal representative had been deleted in September 2005 and her right to remarry had also been recognised by the law of the land,

The Delhi HC in a case in 2019 held that a widow's Right To Claim Compensation For death Of husband will not abate on remarriage and is entitled to equal share as parents.

In this case, you have every right to claim the money of your husband.


Hope this solves your query.


P. Venu (Advocate)     15 May 2020

You have the equal share with your mother-in-law in the  and insurance funds relating to PF. You would inherit the laate husband's share in the property that would be left intestate by the father-in-law. However, that property, left intestate after your lifetime, would be inherited by the legal heirs of of your late husband, and not your legal heirs.

Sridevi S   15 May 2020

Do my in law's also have rights to my husband's pf and insurance money? If they refuse to give the money can I put a case against them in court?


It is the duty of your father in law maintain you

Section 24 in The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

24 Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings. —Where in any proceeding under this Act it appears to the court that either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding, it may, on the application of the wife or the husband, order the respondent to pay to the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding, and monthly during the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioner's own income and the income of the respondent, it may seem to the court to be reasonable: 54 [Provided that the application for the payment of the expenses of the proceeding and such monthly sum during the proceeding, shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within sixty days from the date of service of notice on the wife or the husband, as the case may be.]



The right of maintenance under Hindu law is very old and it was one of the basic necessities of the joint family system. According to my understanding the maintenance of the women in the joint family system was an important system and this was followed as a tradition which governed the families. It was the obligation of the head of the family (karta) to look after the women of the family i.e. their wives and their daughters until they were married. Latter when the women grew older it was the duty of their children to mother and other old women of the family. The unchastity on part of the women disentitled them to maintenance. Their remarriage ended the claim and the amount of maintenance depended upon various factors like the status of the family, necessary requirements, wants, age, etc. [5] Section 24 provides of Hindu Marriage Act, (HMA) 1955 provides for maintenance.

Section 19(1) in The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956

(1) A Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be maintained after the death of her husband by her father-in-law: Provided and to the extent that she is unable to maintain herself out of her own earnings or other property or, where she has no property of her own, is unable to obtain maintenance—

(a) from the estate of her husband or her father or mother, or

(b) from her son or daughter, if any, or his or her estate.


Under this act (Section 19),  a (Hindu) wife after the death of her husband is entitled to be maintained by her Father in-law, provided she has no means of her own earnings. However, the right cannot be enforced if her Father in-law does not have means to do so and if the wife remarries.





RADHIKA NARANG and ORS. .....Vs  KULDEEP NARANG and ANR. ..... DATE OF DECISION : January 16, 2009

Sections 18 and 19 prescribe the statutory liabilities in regard to maintenance of wife by her husband and only on his death upon the father-in-law. Mother-in-law, thus, cannot be fastened with any legal liability to maintain her daughter-in- law from her own property or otherwise. (emphasis supplied).


Maintenance of Wife under Section 18, the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956

Under the section 18(1) of the HAMA, 1956 wife is entitled to maintenance by her husband for lifetime i.e. she will be given maintenance until she dies or her husband dies. [7] Under section 18 of this Act a Hindu wife is entitled to live separately from her husband without canceling her right to claim maintenance. The grounds under which she can live separately are:-


Section 18 in The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956

18 Maintenance of wife. —

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be maintained by her husband during her life time.

(2) A Hindu wife shall be entitled to live separately from her husband without forfeiting her claim to maintenance—


Section 20 in The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956

20. Maintenance of children and aged parents.—

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section a Hindu is bound, during his or her lifetime, to maintain his or her legitimate or illegitimate children and his or her aged or infirm parents.

(2) A legitimate or illegitimate child may claim maintenance from his or her father or mother so long as the child is a minor.

(3) The obligation of a person to maintain his or her aged or infirm parent or a daughter who is unmarried extends in so far as the parent or the unmarried daughter, as the case may be, is unable to maintain himself or herself out of his or her own earnings or other property. Explanation.—In this section “parent” includes a childless step-mother.

Section 22 in The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956

22. Maintenance of dependants.—

(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) the heirs of a deceased Hindu are bound to maintain the dependants of the deceased out of the estate inherited by them from the deceased.

(2) Where a dependant has not obtained, by testamentary or intestate-succession, any share in the estate of a Hindu dying after the commencement of this Act, the dependant shall be entitled, subject to the provisions of this Act, to maintenance from those who take the estate.

(3) The liability of each of the persons who takes the estate shall be in proportion to the value of the share or part of the estate taken by him or her.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2) or sub-section (3), no person who is himself or herself a dependant shall be liable to contribute to the maintenance of others, if he or she has obtained a share or part, the value of which is, or would, if the liability to contribute were enforced, become less than what would be awarded to him or her by way of maintenance under this Act.


Section 23 in The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956

23. Amount of maintenance.—

(1) It shall be in the discretion of the Court to determine whether any, and if so what, maintenance shall be awarded under the provisions of this Act, and in doing so, the Court shall have due regard to the considerations set out in sub-section (2), or sub-section (3), as the case may be, so far as they are applicable.

(2) In determining the amount of maintenance, if any, to be awarded to a wife, children or aged or infirm parents under this Act, regard shall be had to—


Sridevi S   16 May 2020

suggestions for good lawyers in Bangalore

Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Advocate)     18 May 2020

p[lease be clear how manye went to them and what was employment of your late husband.

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