The Bombay High Court, Aurangabad Bench has held that the parents-in-law are not entitled to receive maintenance from their widowed daughter-in-law as they do not come under the relation mentioned in Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

A Single Bench of Justice Kishore C. Sant asserted, “… it is clear that the respondents are not entitled to receive maintenance from the petitioner on the counts firstly that they are not coming under the the relation mentioned in Section 125. Secondly the appointment of the petitioner was not on a compassionate ground in place of her husband. Thirdly on the count that the respondent no.2 has also received an amount of Rs. 1,88,000/- after the death of deceased son.”

The Bench noted that there is nothing to indicate that the job secured by the petitioner i.e., the daughter-in-law is on a compassionate ground.

Advocate Murkute J.M. appeared on behalf of the petitioner while Advocate Chillarge Subhash S. appeared on behalf of the respondents.

In this case, the petitioner was the widow of the deceased son of the respondents who was serving as a conductor in MSRTC, and after the death of her husband, she started doing a job in the health department for her survival. The case of the respondents was that they were old aged persons having no source of income and since their son had expired, there was no one to look after them, therefore, they filed an application for maintenance in Nyayadhikari Gram Nyayalaya Jalkot.

The petitioner appeared in the proceeding and file an application stating the respondents had 4 daughters who are married, had land, and a house, and the mother of the deceased received an amount of ₹1,88,000 from MSRTC and the remaining amount was given to the minor son of the deceased. She further submitted that all the daughters of the respondents having a share in the property of the respondents are liable to pay the maintenance to them but the Trial Court held that the maintenance can be claimed even from the daughter-in-law.

The High Court after hearing the arguments of both parties observed, “By reading of the Section 125, it is clear that the father-in-law and mother-in-law are not mentioned in the said Section. Even for the Clause (a) to (d), those are qualified by further wording as unable to maintain himself or herself. … the parents-in-law will not be entitled to claim maintenance from their widowed daughter-in-law. It is held that it is not the scheme of legislature and the legislature has not included parents-in-law in Section 125. The list given of the relations is exhaustive and there is no scope for any other interpretation.”

The Court noted that the deceased husband was working in MSRTC, whereas the petitioner is appointed in the health department of the State Government and hence her appointment is not on a compassionate ground.

“… this Court finds that the continuance of the proceeding of Criminal M.A. No.25/2019 pending in the Court of Learned Nyayadhikari Gram Nyayalaya, Jalkot, Dist. Latur would be an abuse of process law and therefore the same is quashed”, said the Court.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the plea.

Cause Title- Shobha v. Kishanrao & Anr.

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