Section 19 Hindu Adoption & Maintenance Act- Father-In-Law Under No Obligation To Maintain Daughter-In-Law: Patna HC
The Patna High Court has recently held that the father-in-law is under no obligation to maintain his daughter-in-law except in cases where there is an ancestral property in his possession from which the daughter-in-law has not obtained any share.
The Court said that the object of Section 19 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act is to make it clear that the widowed daughter-in-law can claim maintenance from her father-in-law only where she is unable to maintain herself out of her own property or from the estate of her husband, father, mother, son or daughter.
A Single Bench of Justice Sunil Dutta Mishra asserted, “… the father-in-law shall be under no obligation to maintain his daughter-in-law except in cases where there is some ancestral property in his possession from which the daughter-in-law has not obtained any share. The obligation of father-in-law shall not be enforced if he has no means to maintain his daughter-in-law from any coparcenary property in his possession out of which the daughter-in-law has not obtained any share and any such obligation cease on the re-marriage of the daughter-in-law.”
It was further held by the Court that the Court empowered to grant a substantive relief is competent to award it on an interim basis as well, even though there is no express provision in the statute to grant it.
Advocate Satyendra Kumar Srivastava appeared on behalf of the petitioner while Advocate Anil Kumar Choudhary appeared for the respondent.
In this case, the respondent i.e., the widow daughter-in-law of the petitioner filed a Maintenance Case under Section 19 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act in the Family Court. Thereafter, she moved an application for allowing interim maintenance to her in which the impugned order was passed.
The petitioner was directed by the Principal Judge of the Family Court to pay interim maintenance of Rs. 10,000/- per month to the respondent. Being aggrieved by this, he approached the High Court.
The High Court after hearing both the parties observed, “Section 125 of Cr.P.C. deals with an order for maintenance of wife, children and parents. The daughter-in-law cannot claim maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C. but she can claim the same under Section 19 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act. The provision of Section 125 Cr.P.C. in petition under Section 19 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 cannot be applied.”
The Court further held that the Family Court was not justified in applying the provisions under Section 125 of the Cr.PC. for interim maintenance in the petition.
“The learned Court below is directed to pass fresh order on the petition of the respondent for interim maintenance in accordance with law and expedite the disposal of the Maintenance Case No. 41 (M)/ 2017, if not disposed of till date”, the Court directed.
Accordingly, the Court allowed the application of the petitioner and set aside the order passed by the Family Court.
Cause Title- Kalyan Shah v. Mosmat Rashmi Priya