Widowed daughter-in-law can claim maintenance from the estate inherited by her father-in-law

Sardool Singh Sucha Singh Mathroo Vs Harneet Kaur

Bombay HC

07/09/2020

WP (ST) No. 4054 of 2020

About/from the judgment:

The High Court while addressing a petition with regard to grant of maintenance held that under Section 19 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 wife has every right to claim the maintenance after the death of the husband from the estate inherited by her father-in-law.

 

Facts

 

Late Bhupinder was married to respondent 1. Respondent 2 was born out of the said marriage.

 

Mother of Respondent 1 died in the year 2016 and her father died in 2017. She submitted that she has no independent source of earning and she and her son are completely dependent on the earnings of the petitioner.

 

In view of the above, respondent 1 preferred the proceedings under Section 19 and 22 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 for grant of maintenance of Rs 1,50,000 per month to petitioner 1 and Rs 50,000 to petitioner 2.

 

Family Court had allowed granted maintenance of Rs 40,000 per month to respondent 1, whereas Rs 30,000 per month to respondent 2.

 

Hence the present petition was filed.

 

Analysis and Decision

 

Section 19 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 contemplates that the wife has every right to claim the maintenance after the death of the husband from the estate inherited by her father-in-law, ie. the present petitioner.

 

Proviso to Sub-Section (1) of Section 19 contemplates that the respondent has to demonstrate that she on her own is unable to maintain herself.

 

Thus, it is in the above-stated eventuality that she can claim maintenance from the estate of her husband, still, fact remains that the said burden can be discharged by respondent1 at an appropriate stage.

 

Further, the court stated that the maintenance awarded to the respondent 1 to the tune of Rs 40,000 and to respondent 2, grandson of Rs 30,000 appears to be justified, considering the income drawn by the petitioner.

 

High Court stated that it cannot see any material illegalities to infer that the impugned order runs contrary to the scheme of Section 19 of the Act. Hence no case for interference will be made out in the present petition.

Read the Judgment

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