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Abhilasha v. Parkash & Ors (2020) - Maintenance to Unmarried Daughter under Section 125 CrPC

Nicole Gomez ,
  03 October 2020       Share Bookmark

Court :

Brief :
The court held that an unmarried Hindu daughter can claim maintenance from her father till she is married, even if she is not physically or mentally injured. The court relied on Section 20(3) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956, provided she pleads and can prove that she is unable to maintain herself. Further, for the enforcement of this right, her application or suit has to be under Section 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956 rather than under Section 125 of Cr.P.C.
Citation :
Petitioner:Abhilasha Respondent:Parkash and Ors. Citation:ICL 2020 (9) SC 70

Bench:

Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy, M.R. Shah

Issue:

Whether a daughter, who had attained majority and is unmarried is entitled to claim maintenance from her father under Section 125 Cr.P.C. even if she is not suffering from any physical or mental abnormality or injury?

 

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Facts:

A mother filed an application under Section 125 Cr.P.C. on behalf of herself, her two sons and daughter, against her husband by claiming maintenance for herself and her three children.

The Judicial Magistrate in its judgment dismissed the application under Section 125 Cr.P.C. and allowed the grant of maintenance for the daughter till she attains majority.

Aggrieved by the judgment, all the four applicants filed a criminal revision before the Court of Sessions Judge, which was dismissed as well.

The Additional Sessions Judge held that as per provision of Section 125 Cr.P.C., the children, who had attained majority are entitled to maintenance, if by reason of any physical or mental abnormality or injury, they are unable to maintain themselves.

Moreover, it was held that the daughter is not suffering from any physical, mental abnormality or injury, therefore, she is entitled to maintenance only till she attains majority.

Then an application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. was filed before the High court by all the applicants and the same was dismissed again.

Therefore, the applicants appeared before the Supreme Court of India.

Appellant's Contentions:

The counsel for the appellant placed reliance on Section 20 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act and stated that the unmarried daughter is unable to maintain herself out of own earnings or other property.

Respondent's Contentions:

The counsel for the respondent placed reliance on the fact that the daughter was not physically or mentally injured and therefore she was not entitled to maintenance after attaining majority.

Judgement:

The court held that an unmarried Hindu daughter can claim maintenance from her father till she is married, even if she is not physically or mentally injured. The court relied on Section 20(3) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956, provided she pleads and can prove that she is unable to maintain herself. Further, for the enforcement of this right, her application or suit has to be under Section 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956 rather than under Section 125 of Cr.P.C.

Relevant Paragraphs:

"Section 20(3) of Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 is nothing but recognition of principles of Hindu Law regarding maintenance of children and agedparents. Section 20(3) now makes it statutory obligation of a Hindu to maintain his or her daughter, who is unmarried and is unable to maintain herself out of her own earnings or other property.”[1]

"The laws are nothing but collective consciousness of community. It is in the interest of the community and social order that woman and child who are neglected be maintained and should be provided a forum to obtain urgent relief to enable them to sustain."[2]

"There is no inconsistency between Section 488 of the Cr.P.C. and Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act and both can stand together.”[3]

[1] Paragraph 27, Abhilasha v. Parkash , ICL 2020 (9) SC 70

[2] Paragraph 13, Abhilasha v. Parkash, ICL 2020 (9) SC 70

[3]Paragraph 16, Abhilasha v. Parkash, ICL 2020 (9) SC 70

 
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Published in Constitutional Law
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