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Chhattisgarh High Court allows revision petition against lower court ordering maintenance to respondent

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The Chhattisgarh High Court allowed a revision petition filed against the order passed by the Principal Judge, Family Court, Raipur whereby the applicant was directed to pay interim maintenance to the tune of Rs.5000/- to the respondent (Daughter of the Applicant).

Yatharth Singh ,Counsel for the Applicant , submitted that respondent is the daughter of the applicant and she is a 24 years old matured girl. He further submitted  that she is living separately from her parents without any rhyme or reason and the family members are willing to keep her with them but she is not ready to stay with them. The applicant is working as a driver and earning Rs.38,020/- per month. However, due to personal loan, Rs.14,366/- gets directly deducted from his salary. He further submitted that the applicant’s wife is suffering from paralysis and including wife he has liability of 3 children in  which one child is going to college whereas the other two are school going children. The Counsel also argued that during the lockdown period applicant’s daughter came under the influence of one person  and since then without any consent of the parents she is living with him.

The Counsel further submitted that there is no averment that the respondent is suffering from any physical or mental abnormality or injury or unable to maintain herself, so she is not entitled to get maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C. In this regard he  placed reliance on the matter of Abhilasha Vs. Prakash and others reported in (2020) AIR SC 4355.  

While considering the revision Petition , a Single Bench of Justice Deepak Kumar Tiwari noted  from impugned order that respondent has attained the majority and also pursuing B.A. final year. 
“As per Section 125 Cr.P.C. to get maintenance daughter has to make out a case that she is unable to maintain herself or not attained the majority but in the present case, no such averment has been made. So the respondent is not entitled to get maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C”, observed the Court.

However, Section 20 (3) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 recognize rights of maintenance to children and it is statutory obligation of Hindu to maintain his or her daughter, who is unmarried and is unable to maintain herself out of her own earning of other property.

The Supreme Court in the matter of Abhilasha (Supra) has  observed as under:- 
“31. The provision of Section 20 of Act, 1956 cast clear statutory obligation on a Hindu to maintain his unmarried daughter who is unable to maintain herself. The right of unmarried daughter under Section 20 to claim maintenance from her father when she is unable to maintain herself is absolute and the right given to unmarried daughter under Section 20 is right granted under personal law, which can very well be enforced by her against her father. The judgment of this Court in Jagdish Jugtawat (supra) laid down that Section 20(3) of Act, 1956 recognised the right of a minor girl to claim maintenance after she attains majority till her marriage from her father. Unmarried daughter is clearly entitled for maintenance from her father till she is married even though she has become major, which is a statutory right recognised by Section 20(3) and can be enforced by unmarried daughter in accordance with law.”

Therefore, the Court held that in view of the proposition held in Abhilasha (Supra) the application filed by the respondent under Section 125 Cr.P.C before the Family Court is not maintainable. 
Further, the Court reserves liberty in favour of the respondent/daughter to take recourse to Section 20 (3) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, if so advised, for claiming any maintenance against her father.  

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