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Bench: JUSTICE K.G. Shankar

DUGGI VEERAPPA Vs. D. MAHESWARI & ANR. On 21 December 2011

Law Point:
Daughter-in-law cannot claim maintenance from her father-in-law under Section 125. Indeed, lady would be entitled to maintenance if any in share of property of her late husband.





1. The petitioner seeks to quash the proceedings in M.C. No. 14 of 2008 on the file of the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Narayankhed.

2. The 1st respondent laid M.C. No. 14 of 2008 against the petitioner herein-under Section 125, Cr.P.C. The petitioner contends that the petitioner is the father-in-law of the 1st respondent and that petition under Section 125, Cr.P.C. is not maintainable against the father-in-law. I may record that the 1st respondent was served with notice.

3. 1st respondent needed to engage a Counsel. However, nobody represents 1st respondent before me.

4. There is no dispute that the late husband of the 1st respondent by name Chandrasekhar was the son of the petitioner herein and that the petitioner thus is the father-in-law of the 1st respondent.

5. Mr. K. Neelakanteswara Rao, learned Counsel for the petitioner contended that a lady cannot claim maintenance against her father-in-law under the provisions of Section 125, Cr.P.C.

6. Section 125, Cr.P.C. enables any person to claim maintenance against the husband of such a person, against the natural or putative father of such a child and a son or daughter by a father or mother who is not able to maintain themselves.

7. Section 125, Cr.P.C. does not enable a lady to claim maintenance from the father of her late husband. Indeed, the lady would be entitled to maintenance if any in share of the property of her late husband. However, inasmuch as the relief is under Section 125, Cr.P.C. a petition by a daughter-in-law cannot lie against the father-in-law.

8. Learned Counsel for the petitioner placed reliance upon the decision of a Single Judge of Karnataka High Court reported in Subhaschandra v. Indubai and Another, II (2004) DMC 114=III (2004) CCR 294=2004 (4) RCR (Cr.) 128, wherein it was held that a daughter-in-law would not be entitled to maintenance from father-in-law under Section 125, Cr.P.C. There is no reason for me to defer with the opinion expressed by Karnataka High Court.

9. Section 125, Cr.P.C. itself is specific and clear pointing out four categories of persons as being entitled to claim maintenance. A daughter-in-law consequently cannot claim maintenance from her father-in-law.

10. M.C. No. 14 of 2008 is not maintainable and the same is consequently hereby quashed.

11. This Criminal Petition is accordingly allowed.

Petition allowed.

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