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Major unmarried daughter cannot claim maintenance under Section 125 CrPC unless she has mental or physical ailment: Kerala High Court

The Court was considering a revision petition moved by a man against a 2016 family court order directing him to pay maintenance of ₹10,000 to his wife and ₹8,000 to his daughter, who was around 17 years in 2016.

The counsel for the revision petitioner argued that the family court failed to consider the income of the revision petitioner and that his daughter was a major and, therefore, not entitled to claim maintenance from her father.

He also pointed out that in order to sustain a claim of maintenance at the instance of an unmarried daughter, who belongs to the Hindu community, she should file a petition under Section 20 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act of 1956. In a petition filed under Section 125, CrPC, an unmarried daughter, who attained majority, could not claim maintenance, it was argued.

The counsel for the revision petitioner further submitted that no evidence was produced to indicate that the daughter suffers from any physical or mental abnormality or injury on account of which she could not maintain herself.

The Court found substance in the contentions raised by the revision petitioner. As such, it modified the family court order by directing that maintenance should be paid to the daughter only for the period when she remained a minor. On this aspect, the Court noted that the daughter had now crossed 18 years of age and was a major.

“On the evaluation of the evidence available in this matter, no evidence let in to show that the 2nd respondent [daughter] has any physical or mental abnormality, or she has any injury so that she could not maintain herself and, therefore, grant maintenance to the 2nd respondent, (who is now aged above 18 years) from the date of attaining majority, is found to be erroneous and thereby the order impugned stands set aside to that extent, limiting entitlement of maintenance by the 2nd respondent till the date she attained majority,” the Court said.

Source: Barandbench

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