For Maintenance U/s. 125 CrPC Daughter Must Prove That She Is Unable To Maintain Herself- Chhattisgarh HC
The Chhattisgarh High Court at Bilaspur has observed that in order to seek maintenance under Section 125 CrPC, the daughter must prove that she is unable to maintain herself or has not attained majority.
The Bench of Justice Deepak Kumar Tiwari held –
"As per Section 125 Cr.P.C. to get maintenance daughter has to make out a case that she is unable to maintain herself or not attained the majority but in the present case, no such averment has been made."
In this case, a revision was preferred by the applicant-father assailing the order of the Family Court which had directed the applicant to pay a sum of Rs. 5000/- to the respondent-daughter.
The advocate appearing for the applicant contended before the High Court that the daughter of the applicant is 24 years old and is a mature girl.
He further submitted that girl is living separately from her parents without any reason and that during the lockdown period applicant's daughter came under the influence of one person namely Animesh Sinha and since then without any consent from the parents she is living with him.
It was further submitted that the applicant is working as a driver and earning Rs. 38, 020 per month, his wife is suffering from paralysis, and wife he has liability for 3 children who are studying.
The Court was also apprised of the fact the Respondent-daughter is not suffering from any physical or mental abnormality or injury or is unable to maintain herself, therefore she is not entitled to maintenance under Section 125 CrPC.
The Court in this context noted that the Respondent has attained the age of majority and also pursuing BA final year and held –
"As per Section 125 Cr.P.C. to get maintenance daughter has to make out a case that she is unable to maintain herself or not attained the majority but in the present case, no such averment has been made. So the respondent is not entitled to get maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C. However, Section 20 (3) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 recognize rights of maintenance to children and it is statutory obligation of Hindu to maintain his or her daughter, who is unmarried and is unable to maintain herself out of her own earning of other property."
The Court placed reliance on the judgment of the Apex Court in the case of Abhilasha Vs. Prakash and others reported in (2020) AIR SC 4355, in which it was held –
"The provision of Section 20 of Act, 1956 cast a clear statutory obligation on a Hindu to maintain his unmarried daughter who is unable to maintain herself. The right of an unmarried daughter under Section 20 to claim maintenance from her father when she is unable to maintain herself is absolute and the right given to an unmarried daughter under Section 20 is a right granted under personal law, which can very well be enforced by her against her father. The judgment of this Court in Jagdish Jugtawat (supra) laid down that Section 20(3) of Act, 1956 recognized the right of a minor girl to claim maintenance after she attains majority till her marriage from her father. An unmarried daughter is clearly entitled for maintenance from her father till she is married even though she has become major, which is a statutory right recognized by Section 20(3) and can be enforced by unmarried daughter in accordance with the law."
Thus, the Court held the application filed by the Respondent under Section 125 CrPC before the Family Court is not maintainable and further held that the Respondent/daughter is at liberty to take recourse to Section 20(3) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 if so advised for claiming maintenance against her father.
Accordingly, the Bench allowed the Revision Petition and quashed the impugned order of the Family Court.
Cause Title - Birendra Kumar Tiwari v. Ku. Neetu Tiwari