Chhattisgarh High Court: Sanjay K. Agarwal, J. imposed costs of Rs 2000 while dismissing a petition filed by a step-son for setting aside the order of the Tribunal directing him to pay Rs 10,000 per month as maintenance to her step-mother (respondent).

Manoj Kumar Sinha, Advocate for the step-son contended that the amount of Rs 10,000 was shockingly high and the petitioner was incapable of making the payment. Per contra, Aarti Chandra Dutt, Advocate for the step-mother submitted that the Tribunal had rightly allowed her application filed under Section 4 read with Section 5 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.

Referring to the various relevant provisions of the Act, the High court observed: “The Act of 2007 has been enacted to provide for more effective provisions for the maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens guaranteed and recognized under the Constitution and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.” It was also noted that “parent” as defined in Section 2(d) includes step-parents. It was found that the Tribunal passed the order granting maintenance on the basis of material available on record, holding that the step-son was a government teacher with sufficient income to maintain his step-mother.

Commenting that the present was unfortunate litigation and in view of the “well-renowned mandate of our scriptures”, the court dismissed the appeal with costs of Rs 2000 to be payable by the step-mother. [Uttar Kumar Bhoi v. Surekha Bhoi, 2019 SCC OnLine Chh 23, dated 12-3-2019]

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