• LAWGIC STRATUM

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS: ABHILASHA vs PRAKASH, [Cri. Appeal No. 615 of 2020].

Author – Mohanapriya.R



Facts:


This appeal has been filed to challenge the verdict of the High Court. A woman filed an application against her husband under section 125 of CrPC[i], claiming maintenance for herself and her three children. The Judicial Magistrate dismissed the application of the applicant and two of her children[ii]. The daughter, when she was a minor filed an application claiming maintenance under section 125 of CrPC, the magistrate disposed of the application limiting to claim maintenance until she attains majority. The High Court dismissed the application filed under section 482 of CrPC, on the ground that since the appellant has attained majority and she is not suffering from any mental or physical abnormality, she is not entitled to the maintenance. The appellant submitted that even though she attained majority in 2005, and not suffering from any physical or mental disorder, by virtue of section 20 of Act, 1956[iii], she is entitled to claim maintenance from her father until she is unmarried.


Issues:


1. Whether the appellant is entitled to claim maintenance from her father under section 125 of CrPC, when she already attained majority and she is not suffering from any mental or physical disorder but still she is unmarried?


2. Whether the order passed by Judicial Magistrate and the Revisional Court limiting the appellant’s claim until she attains majority deserves to be set aside with a direction to the respondent to continue to give maintenance until she is married?


Arguments:


The counsel for the appellant contended that the daughter can claim maintenance until she is married, but this argument was rejected only on the grounds that she is not suffering from any mental or physical abnormalities or fatal injury. Section 125 of CrPC limits the claim of the child only until they attain majority. Even the daughter attained majority and not suffering from any mental or physical disorder or any fatal injury, she can claim maintenance till she is married from her father by the virtue of section 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. In Lnanak Chand vs. Shri Chandra Kishore Agarwala and Others[iv], the court held that section 488 CrPC. provides a speedy remedy and summary procedure against starvation of the deserted wife or child, before the magistrate court. It applies to all persons belonging to all religions. The Family court also has the jurisdiction to exercisable by Magistrate of First-class Chapter IX of CrPC, relating to passing order regarding the maintenance of the wife, children, and old age parents. In the place, where the family court is not established, the cases relating to maintenance of the wife, children, and old age parents shall be before the District Court or before the subordinate court. The submission of the learned counsel for the appellant states that an unmarried Hindu woman can claim maintenance from her father, provided she pleads and proves that she is unable to maintain herself, for enforcement of such right the application must be under section 20(3) of the act, 1956.


Observation:


The court is of the view that under section 125 of CrPC, maintenance to the daughter who attained majority can be granted only when she is suffering from mental or physical abnormality, or the fatal injury which is unable to maintain her. In this case, the applicant is not suffering from any injuries as mentioned in section 125, but according to section 20 whether the daughter is entitled to claim maintenance until she is unmarried.


In Mohd.Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum[v], the court observed that the term ‘wife’ not only includes wedded wife but also woman married by performing the necessary rites laid by the personal law.


In Jagdish Jugtawat v. Manju Lata and Others[vi], the court observed that the maintenance of the wife under section 125 and right of the minor daughter for maintenance from her parents after attaining the majority till her marriage is recognized under Section 20(3) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. Section 20(3) deals with the statutory obligation of the Hindu to maintain his/her old age parents and children including daughters who are unmarried and unable to maintain themselves out of their income.


Court passed judgement by combine reading of the section 125 of CrPC, which is a narrow concept providing relief to applicant and section 20(3) of Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, which is a larger concept relating to ordering for maintenance of the wife, children, and parents.


Therefore, the claim made by the appellant as an unmarried daughter claiming maintenance from her father relying on section 20(3) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 was accepted by the court.


Analysing the Decision:


In Section 125(1)(C) of CrPC, a legitimate or illegitimate child, who is unmarried but attained majority and suffering from mental or physical abnormalities/injury, unable to maintain herself can claim maintenance from her father, who has neglected/refused to maintain. In this case, SC made a clear decision, according to section 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, an unmarried daughter who attained majority can claim maintenance from her father when she is unable to maintain herself and dependent on others. The Magistrate dismissed the application but the SC observed that the magistrate court allowed the award of interim maintenance as per section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The application is allowed. Unmarried daughter claiming maintenance from her father, who is unable to maintain herself is also a right granted by personal law, which can be enforced.


Conclusion:


The SC held that, according to section 20 of the act, it is a statutory obligation of a Hindu to maintain his/her old age parents and child who is unmarried and unable to maintain her. A daughter who is still unmarried but attained majority and is not suffering from any fatal injury or mental/physical disorder is not entitled to claim maintenance from her father under the provisions of CrPC[vii]. The main aim of this section is to provide immediate relief to the appellant. The court dismissed the plea but gave liberty to the appellant to claim the maintenance from her father as per section 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956.


References:

[i] CrPC – The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 [ii] Law Bharat, Judgment of the day – Abhilasha V. Prakash & Ors, Published on Sept. 16, 2020 https://www.lawbharat.com/post/judgement-of-the-day-abhilasha-v-prakash-ors [iii] The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, S. 20. [iv] Lnanak Chand V. Shri Chandra Kishore Agarwala and others, 1970 AIR 446, 1970 SCR (1) 565 [v] Ahmed Khan V. Shah Bano Begum And Ors, 1985 AIR 945, 1985 SCR (3) 844 [vi] Dr. Jagdish Jugtawat V. Smt. Manju Lata And Ors, I (2001) DMC 605, 2001 (1) WLN 499 [vii] The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, S. 125

492 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All