whether a Hindu unmarried daughter is entitled to claim maintenance from her father under Section 125 Cr.P.C. only till she attains majority or she can claim maintenance till she remains unmarried? = an unmarried Hindu daughter can claim maintenance from her father till she is married relying on Section 20(3) of the Act, 1956, provided she pleads and proves that she is unable to maintain herself, for enforcement of which right her application/suit has to be under Section 20 of Act, 1956.-In facts of the present case the ends of justice be served by giving liberty to the appellant to take recourse to Section 20(3) of the Act, 1956, if so advised, for claiming any maintenance against her father.
The learned Judicial Magistrate vide its judgment dated 16.02.2011 dismissed the application under Section 125 Cr.P.C. of the applicant Nos. 1, 2 and 3 and allowed the same for applicant No.4 (appellant before us) for grant of maintenance till she attains majority.
criminal revision was dismissed by learned Additional Sessions Judge by order dated 17.02.2014 with the only 2 modification that revisionist No.4 (appellant before us) shall be entitled to maintenance till 26.04.2005 when she attains majority.Learned 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. Learned Additional Sessions Judge also held that the revisionist No.4 (i.e. appellant) is not suffering from any physical, mental abnormality or injury, therefore, she is entitled to maintenance only till 26.04.2005 i.e., till she attains majority.
High Court by the impugned judgment dated 16.02.2018 dismissed the application filed 3 under Section 482 Cr.P.C. by making following observations:- “Both the Courts are consistent with regard to declining maintenance to petitioners No. 1 to 3. As regards grant of maintenance to Abhilasha by the trial Court, the order regarding it was modified by learned Additional Sessions Judge, Rewari observing that she was entitled to get maintenance till attaining majority and not thereafter since she is not suffering from any physical or mental abnormality or injury, in those eventualities a child, who though has attained majority but is unable to maintain itself is entitled to get maintenance. I do not find any illegality or infirmity in the judgment passed by learned Additional Sessions Judge, Rewari, which might have called for interference by this Court while exercising jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C. Therefore, the petition stands dismissed.”
Apex court held that (i).Whether the appellant, who although had attained majority and is still unmarried is entitled to claim maintenance from her father in proceedings under Section 125 Cr.P.C. although she is not suffering from any physical or mental abnormality/injury? (ii) Whether the orders passed by learned Judicial Magistrate as well as learned Revisional Court limiting the claim of the appellant to claim maintenance till she attains majority on 26.04.2005 deserves to be set aside with direction to the respondent No.1 to continue to give maintenance even after 26.04.2005 till the appellant remains unmarried?
The purpose and object of Section 125 Cr.P.C. as noted above is to provide immediate relief to applicant in a summary proceedings, whereas right under Section 20 read with Section 3(b) of Act, 1956 contains larger right, which needs determination by a Civil Court, hence for the larger claims as enshrined under Section 20, the proceedings need to be initiated under Section 20 of the Act and the legislature never contemplated to burden the Magistrate while exercising jurisdiction under 34 Section 125 Cr.P.C. to determine the claims contemplated by Act, 1956. 37. There are three more reasons due to which we are satisfied that the orders passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate as well as learned Additional Sessions Judge in the revision was not required to be interfered with by the High Court in exercise of jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C. The reasons are as follows:- (i) The application was filed by the mother of the appellant in the year 2002 claiming maintenance on her behalf as well as on behalf of her two sons and appellant, who was minor at that time. The appellant being minor at that time when application was filed on 17.10.2002, there was no occasion for any pleading on behalf of the appellant that she was not able to maintain herself even after attaining the majority. Section 20 of the Act, 1956 on which reliance has been placed by learned counsel 35 for the appellant recognising the right of maintenance of unmarried daughter by a person subject to the condition when “the parents or the unmarried daughter, as the case may be, is unable to maintain themselves/herself out of their/her own earnings or other property”. The learned Additional Sessions Judge noticed the submission of the respondent that appellant did not come in the witness box even when she had attained majority to claim that she was unable to maintain herself, which contention has been noted in paragraph 12 of the judgment of the learned Additional Sessions Judge. (ii) From the judgment of the learned Judicial Magistrate, another fact, which is relevant to be noticed is that applicant Nos. 2 to 4, which included the appellant also had filed the proceedings under Section 20 of the Act, 1956 being Suit No. 6 of 2001, which was dismissed as withdrawn on 17.12.2012. 36 (iii) Another factor, which need to be noticed that in the counter affidavit filed in this appeal, there was a specific pleading of the respondent that a plot of land was purchased in name of the appellant admeasuring 214 sq. Yds. In the rejoinder affidavit filed by the appellant, it has been admitted that the plot was purchased on 31.07.2000 from the joint income earned by mother and father of the appellant, which had been agreed to be sold in the year 2012 for a total sale consideration of Rs.11,77,000/-. In the rejoinder affidavit, an affidavit of prospective purchaser has been filed by the appellant, where it is mentioned that agreement to sell had taken place between appellant and Arjun on 31.07.2000 for a sale consideration of Rs.11,77,000/-, out of which appellant had received Rs.10,89,000 as earnest money. We, thus, accept the submission of the learned counsel for the appellant that as a preposition of law, an unmarried Hindu daughter can claim maintenance from her father till she is married relying on Section 20(3) of the Act, 1956, provided she pleads and proves that she is unable to maintain herself, for enforcement of which right her application/suit has to be under Section 20 of Act, 1956.