A major unmarried daughter is entitled to maintenance from her father under Section 125 CrPC

Bombay High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Bharati H. Dangre, J., decided a writ petition filed by the petitioner-mother, wherein maintenance was allowed to the unmarried adult daughter holding that such a child was entitled to maintenance from her father under Section 125 CrPC.

The petitioner and husband were married to each other but were living separately. The petitioner-mother filed the present petition on behalf of their unmarried major daughter (19 years of age), claiming maintenance for her. The question before the Court, inter alia, was whether an unmarried major daughter was entitled to maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC?

The High Court perused the section as well as decisions of the Supreme Court and High Courts. The Court observed that under Section 125 of the CrPC it is only the minor child who is entitled to claim maintenance if such child is not able to maintain itself. A child who has attained majority is held entitled for claiming maintenance, if on account of physical or mental abnormality or injury he is unable to maintain himself. There is not any specific provision contained in Section 125 for grant of maintenance to a daughter who is major. However, considering decisions of the Supreme Court, the High Court held that the father cannot be extricated from his liability to maintain his unmarried daughter who is staying with his wife and he would be bound not only to maintain his unmarried daughter until her marriage. It was held that an unmarried daughter, though attained majority, is entitled to claim maintenance from the father under Section 125 of CrPC.

Accordingly, the petition was allowed and the application preferred by the petitioner was remanded to the family court for proper adjudication. [Agnes Lily Irudaya v.Irudaya Kani Arsan, 2018 SCC OnLine Bom 617, order dated 6.4.2018]

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