Thu. Sep 24th, 2020

Childless step-mother can claim maintenance from her step-son(s)

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Chhattisgarh High Court: While
deciding as to whether the step-mother can claim maintenance from her step-son
under Section 125 of the CrPC, a bench of Sanjay K. Agrawal J upheld the order
of the Family Court which granted maintenance @ Rs. 1000 per month to the
step-mother from each of her step-son(s) in view of the benevolent provisions
contained in Section 125 CrPC.

D.N. Prajapati,
learned Counsel for the applicants (step-son) contended that the impugned order
of the Family Court is liable to be setaside as Section 125(1)(d) CrPC extends
only to natural mother for maintenance. Sourabh Dangi, learned amicus curiae
submitted that though under Section 125(1)(d) CrPC, ‘mother’ would not include ‘step-mother’,
but step-mother, who is childless and unable to maintain herself, would be
entitled for maintenance from her step-son, as Section 125 of the Code is a
beneficial and benevolent provision and therefore, the order of the Family
Court is not unexceptionable and not liable to be interfered.

The Court relied
on the decision of Kirtikant D. Vadodaria
v. State of Gujarat (1996) 4 SCC 479, where the Supreme Court held that the
dominant purpose of Section 125 CrPC is that the wife, child and parents should
not be left in a helpless state of distress, destitution and starvation, and
hence, a childless step-mother may claim maintenance from her step-son under
Section 125 CrPC, provided she is widow or her husband, if living, is incapable
of supporting and maintaining her.

The Court appreciated
the submission made by the learned amicus curiae Sourabh Dangi, which enabled
the Court to decide the issue and held that the non-applicant in the present
case (an aged widow and childless step-mother living alone and unable to
maintain herself)  is entitled for
maintenance from her step-son(s), the applicants. The Court concluded that the
order of the Family Court granting maintenance to the non-applicant from the
applicants is absolutely justified keeping in view the benevolent provisions
contained in Section 125 of the code. [Deenbandhu
v. Birajho Bai, 2015 SCC OnLine Chh 64, decided on 15.07.2015]
Source: Legal news India

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