Parul Madaan 7 Feb 2020



In India, various acts provide for favorable arrangements for the protection of children. These laws are intended to achieve a social purpose and to prevent vagrancy and destitution and to provide a quick, affordable and rapid mechanism for providing support and maintenance to children.

Statutory Provisions

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Section 26  – 

The court may pass orders relating to the custody, maintenance, and education of minor children during the proceedings under the Act. Under this Act, both parents (father, mother, or any of them) are liable to keep the children as ordered by the court. While making such orders, as far as possible the court takes into account the children's wishes. These orders and provisions may be altered from time to time. Any request for the protection and education of minor children during the proceedings pending under the Act shall be determined, as far as possible, within sixty days from the date of notification service to the respondent.

Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, Section 20-

 A Hindu male or female is bound to maintain his or her legitimate/illegitimate minor children and aged/infirm parents. Aged or infirm parent (which includes childless stepmother) or unmarried daughter have to be maintained if they are unable to maintain themselves. 


Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, Section 125 – Magistrate may order a person to make monthly allowance for maintenance in a case where any person who despite having sufficient means neglects or refuses to maintain –

(i)                 his legitimate or illegitimate minor child who is unable to maintain itself

(ii)               legitimate or illegitimate major child (not being a married daughter) unable to maintain itself due to any physical or mental abnormality/injury

(iii)             married daughter till she attains majority if her husband is not able to maintain her

(iv)              his/her father or mother who are unable to maintain themselves.

This section also makes a provision for maintenance during the pendency of proceedings regarding monthly allowance for maintenance. Also, application for interim maintenance during pending proceedings is to be decided by the Magistrate, as far as possible, within sixty days of the date of service of notice of application to such person. A person who fails to comply with the order of the Magistrate without showing sufficient cause may also be sent to prison. The order of maintenance passed under this section may be altered by the Magistrate on proof of change in circumstances.

In India, child maintenance is accepted under Section 125 CrPC. It was given the child can claim maintenance from the father in India. Section 26 of the Hindu Marriage Act also makes provision for child maintenance under Hindu law.

The provision of the Act specifies that a minor child is entitled to receive maintenance from the father if, or otherwise, a child's custody has been granted to the mother during the divorce proceeding.

Recently, Indian courts have also said that, under Indian family law, a major child, whether a daughter or a son, also has the right to receive maintenance from his / her father if they are dependent on their parents.


Mohan Singh Mawri v. Smt. Haripriya Mawri

The Uttarakhand High Court,while revising the amount of maintenance given to the wife, observed that although an adult son can not demand maintenance from his parents as a matter of right, in the Indian culture we can not forget the fact that the parents have to hold their adult child until he gets a suitable job and that it is a social duty on the parents to keep the adult child One can not equate this Indian culture and custom with European culture and custom.

Jayvardhan Sinh Chapotkat vs. Ajayveer Chapotkat MANU / MH/2581/2014

 Bombay High Court held that under the Hindu Marriage Act, a major son may not be entitled to maintenance. The Petitioner has, in the present case, made a specific application for educational expenses which he can use until he reaches the age of 18. And, as far as age is concerned, the son / claimant will reach a majority, it would not be the right age to become economically independent so as to make his living. In the facts given in the case, a major son of the well-educated and economically sound parents may claim educational expenses from his father or mother regardless of the fact that he has attained majority. It is not strictly maintenance as contemplated under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or maintenance as contemplated under section 20(2) of  the Hindu Marriage Act.

T.Vimala vs S.Ramakrishnan Crl.R.C.(MD)No.180 of 2014


The Madras High Court Bench held that fathers are liable to pay maintenance to children who had attained majority even if the latter were not suffering from any mental or physical abnormalities and yet do not have sufficient financial capacity to maintain themselves.
Children who become major and do not suffer from any disability can also claim maintenance from their fathers like children under the age of 18. They can get educational expenses as well under section 125 of the Cr.P.C. in the state.
The Madurai bench of the Madras high court passed an order in the T, Vimala and others versus S Ramakrishnan case taking note of section 20 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, by Justice P. Devadass.
It was held that:
“Education is an important aspect in children’s life... No father is expected to bring up a criminal or a disorderly person. Section 125 is not just for food for life, it should also be for food for thought. Otherwise, so far as children are concerned, we will be doing violence to the very object of Section 125.”


Did you find this write up useful? YES 3 NO 3
Santanu chakrabarti   16 Mar 2023 3:56pm
Please send me more cases in favour of adult child who can get maintenance from his father.
Taz Attari   27 Jun 2021 4:00am
Whether major daughters whose father is languishing in prison under pocso filed by them dispose father's property or claim rentals coming from that property.
Mustafa Khan Mohammad   20 Sep 2020 10:49pm
Major son studying can he claim maintenance under section 125crpc

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