Abhilasha v. Prakash & Ors.
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO 615 of 2020
This appeal has been filed by the appellant to challenge the verdict of High Court. The mother of the appellant filed an application under Section 125 Cr.P.C. against her (appellant’s) husband claiming maintenance for herself and her three children. The learned Judicial Magistrate vide its judgment dismissed the application under Section 125 Cr.P.C. The contention of the appellant in this case was that as per Section 20 of the Hindu Adoptions & Maintenance Act, 1956, a person has an obligation to maintain his daughter, who is unmarried, extends till she is married. The appellant, when she was a minor, had filed an application was filed under Section 125 Cr.P.C. before Judicial Magistrate First Class, Rewari. The Magistrate disposed the application limiting the claim of the appellant to claim maintenance till she attains majority. This order was upheld by the High Court also. The contention of the appellant was that, even if she is not suffering from any physical or mental abnormality or injury, by virtue of Section 20 of Act, 1956, she is entitled to claim maintenance till she is unmarried
The Supreme Court has held that a daughter who attained majority and is still unmarried is not entitled to claim maintenance from her father in proceedings under Section 125 Cr.P.C. if she is not suffering from any physical or mental abnormality/injury. Section 20 of Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 cast a statutory obligation on a Hindu to maintain his daughter who is unmarried and unable to maintain herself out of her own earnings or other property. The purpose and object of Section 125 Cr.P.C. as noted above is to provide immediate relief to applicant in a summary proceedings, whereas right under Section 20 read with Section 3(b) of Act, 1956 contains larger right, which needs determination by a Civil Court, hence for the larger claims as enshrined under Section 20, the proceedings need to be initiated under Section 20 of the Act and the legislature never contemplated to burden the Magistrate while exercising jurisdiction under Section 125 Cr.P.C. to determine the claims contemplated by Act, 1956. The bench therefore dismissed the plea but gave appellant the liberty to take recourse to section 20(3) of said act to claim maintenance against her father