Kerala High Court: While deciding the petition, the bench of A. Badharudeen, J., held that the respondent is not eligible for grant of maintenance from the date of attaining majority, as she was unable to prove any physical or mental abnormality, or any injury due to which she could not maintain herself.
In the present case, an unmarried major daughter (respondent) and her mother, claimed maintenance from the petitioner who is her father, under Section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code (“CrPC”), on the ground that she does not have means of maintenance. The Family Court allowed the claim of respondent and granted maintenance to her. The petitioner filed a revision petition against this order.
The counsel of the petitioner contended that in order to sustain claim of maintenance the respondent should file a petition under Section 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (“Act, 1956”), and in a petition filed under Section 125 of CrPC an unmarried daughter, who has attained majority, cannot claim maintenance after attaining majority.
The Court said, that by virtue of Section 125(1) of CrPC, an unmarried daughter, who has attained majority, cannot claim maintenance in the ordinary circumstance, such as merely on the ground that she does not have means for her sustenance.
The Court further said, that at the same time, an unmarried daughter who has attained majority, is entitled for maintenance, where such unmarried daughter is unable to maintain herself because of any physical or mental abnormality or injury, and pleadings and evidence in this regard are mandatory.
The Court further stated that an unmarried Hindu daughter can claim maintenance from her father till she is married under Section 20(3) of the Act, 1956, provided, she pleads and proves that she is unable to maintain herself.
The Court concluded that on evaluation of the evidence available in this case, no evidence is there to show that the respondent has any physical or mental abnormality, or she has any injury so that she could not maintain herself. Therefore, the Court set aside the impugned order of grant of maintenance to the respondent, from the date of attaining majority.
Hence, the Court allowed the petition in part.
[Gireesh Kumar. N v. Rajani K.V., 2023 SCC OnLine Ker 489, decided on 25-01-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Counsel for Petitioner:- Advocate K.P. Sujesh Kumar, Advocate Bijukumar;
Counsel for Respondent:- Advocate S. Rajeev, Advocate K.K. Dheerendrakrishnan, Advocate G. Sudheer.