ABHILASHA VS PARKASH & ORS (2020) SCC OnLine SC 736 - Synopsis
Team SoOLEGAL 19 Jul 2021

The appeal in the instant case challenged the judgement passed by Punjab and Haryana High Court. An application was filed by a women against her husband, claiming maintenance for herself and three children under Section 125 CrPc. The application filed by her and two children were dismissed by the Judicial Magistrate. The daughter, being a minor filed another application of maintenance under Section 125 CrPc, which was also disposed of by the magistrate. Another application filed under Section 482 CrPc, got dismissed by the High Court, on grounds that the appellant has already attained the age of majority without any physical or mental ailment, thus she was not entitled to maintenance. 

The appellant submitted that she was entitled to claim maintenance under Section 20 of Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. 

The court was of the opinion that under Section 125 of CrPc, maintenance to a daughter, already a major could only be granted if she was suffering from any physical or mental ailment or injury. In the instant case, the applicant was not suffering from any of the above conditions as mentioned in Section 125, but, again according to Section 20 a daughter is entitled to maintenance till she is married. The bench held that, as stated in Section 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, it is a Hindu’s statutory obligation to maintain his or her unmarried children unable to maintain themselves or aged parents. A unmarried and healthy daughter, who is already a major is not entitled to claim maintenance from her father under Criminal Procedure Code. So, the interpretation of ‘maintenance’ under Section 20 is of a broader aspect that under Section 125 CrPc. The virtue of this section is to furnish immediate relief to the applicant. The plea was dismissed by the court, but to serve justice to the appellant, the daughter was allowed to claim maintenance from the father under Section 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. 


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