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Arun Sahu vs Smt. Priyanka Sahu on 15 May, 2018

THE HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
MP-977-2018
(ARUN SAHU Vs SMT. PRIYANKA SAHU)

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Jabalpur, Dated : 15-05-2018
Shri S. K. Jha, learned counsel for the petitioners.
Shri Anoop Kumar Saxena, learned counsel for the respondents.

The petitioners have filed the present petition, under Article 227
of the Constitution of India, challenging the order dated 21/08/2017

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(Annexure P/5) passed by the Principal Judge, Family Court,

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Chhatarpur in case No.180/2016.

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Brief facts of the case are that respondents/applicants have filed

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an application under Sections 19(5) and 22(6)(9) of the Hindu
Adoptions Maintenance Act, 1956 (hereinafter referred as “the
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Act”) against the petitioners praying for a maintenance of Rs.10,000/-
for respondent No.1 and Rs.5000/- for her minor child, on the ground
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that respondent No.1 is a daughter-in-law of late Sudama Sahu and the
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petitioners are also sons and wife of late Sudama Sahu and by relation
the petitioner No.4 is the mother in-law and petitioners No. 1 to 3 are
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brother-in-law of respondent No.1. Respondents in her application has
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stated that husband of respondent No.1 late Kuldip Sahu was residing
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in the joint Hindu family and the petitioner No.4 being head of the
family was looking the maintenance of the joint family. It was further
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pleaded that the marriage of respondent No.1 had taken place on
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12/05/2014 at village Naugaon, Chhatarpur. However, husband of
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respondent No.1 died on 22/08/2016. At the time of his death,
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respondent No.1 was pregnant and after his death, she given birth to
respondent No.2. Respondent No.1 was residing with the petitioner,
however it has been alleged that the petitioner has committed cruelty
with her and on account of the said cruelty, she stay at her parental
house. The Family Court issued the notice on the application to the
petitioners. The petitioners have appeared before the Court and denied
the allegations made in the application. Thereafter, on 19/01/2017
respondents have filed an application under Section 19(4) of the Act
for grant of interim maintenance to them to the extent of Rs.15,000/-
from the petitioners on the ground that the petitioners have one big
residential house in which 10-12 rooms are there and they are getting
rent of Rs.10,000/- per month. She also submits that the petitioners
No. 1 to 3 are earning members getting their income from their
businesses. The petitioners have filed reply to the said application
denying the allegations made in the application.

After hearing both the parties, the Family Court had passed an
order thereby awarding the interim maintenance of Rs.5000/- to
respondent No.1 and Rs.2000/- to respondent No.2 till disposal of the
original application. Being aggrieved by that order, the petitioner has

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filed the present petition.

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Learned counsel for the petitioners relied under Section 19 of

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the Act and submits that the application preferred by respondents is

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not maintainable. He submits that as per Section 19, a Hindu wife can
file an application for maintenance after the death of her husband
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against his father-in-law. He further submits that in the present case,
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an application has been filed by the respondents against brother-in-law
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as well as mother-in-law, therefore, the application is not
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maintainable. He further submits that respondent No.1 is entitled to
get the maintenance only out of the property which is falls in the
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share of deceased husband. She is not entitled to get the maintenance
of entire property, therefore, the impugned order is erroneous and
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perverse.

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On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondents argues
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that the property which is referred by respondent No.1 in the
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application is joint hindu family property, therefore, the respondents
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are entitled to get the maintenance according to the share of his
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husband in the said property. He further relied on Section 22 of the
Act and submits that even the dependents of the deceased are entitled
to get the maintenance. He further relied on the judgment passed by
the Allahabad High Court in the case of Bitola Kunwari vs. Girand
Singh and another, AIR 1983 Allahabad 425.

Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record.
Section 19 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956
provides for maintenance of widowed daughter-in-law, which reads as
under :-

“19. Maintenance of widowed daughter-in-
law – (1) A Hindu wife, whether married before or
after the commencement of this Act, shall be
entitled to be maintained after the death of her
husband by her father-in-law;

Provided and to the extent that she is unable
to maintain herself out of her own earnings or
other property or, where she has no property of her
own, is unable to obtain maintenance –

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(a) from the estate of her husband or her

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father or mother, or

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(b) from her son or daughter, if any, or his
or her estate.

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(2) Any obligation under sub-section (1)
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shall not be enforceable if the father-in-law has
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not the means to do so from any coparcenary
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property in his possession out of which the
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daughter-in-law has not obtained any share, and
any such obligation shall cease on the re-marriage
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of the daughter-in-law.
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As per the said Sections, after the death of the husband, father-

in-law is liable to maintain a hindu wife. However, she is unable to
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maintain herself out of her own earnings and other property or, where
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she has no property of her own, is unable to obtain maintenance from
the estate of her husband or her father or mother.
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In the present case, respondent No.1 has no source of income
and, therefore, she is entitled to obtain the maintenance from the estate
of her husband. She, therefore, filed an application under Section
19(4) of the Act for getting the maintenance out of the estate of her
husband deceased. However, the said application has been allowed by
the Family Court. In the application, she has specifically pleaded that
the applicant is having big house in which 10-12 rooms are there and
they are getting rent of Rs.10,000/- per moth. It was pleaded that by
respondent No.1 that petitioners No. 1 to 3 are doing their businesses
and all these property are joint family property. Petitioners in their
reply to the said application has not specifically denied this fact,
therefore, on the basis of this, Court has found that the property in
question is a joint hindu property and, therefore, on the basis of the
same Court has awarded an interim maintenance of Rs.5000/- to
respondent No.1 and Rs.2000/- to respondent No.2. The Allahabad
High Court in the case of Bitola Kunwari (supra), para 6 8 has
held as under :-

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6. The obligation under Section 19 is
enforceable against the father-in-law after the

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death of a woman’s husband. Since the suit was
filed after the death of her father-in-law, and not is
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his life-time against him, but against his sons,
Section 19 did not come into play at all, and the
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question whether the plaintiff’s father-in-law had
any coparcenary property in his possession and
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whether he had the means to maintain the plaintiff
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therefrom did not arise. The dismissal of the
plaintiff’s suit by the lower appellate Court on that
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basis was, therefore, erroneous.

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8. Under clause (vii) of Section 21 the
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widow of a person’s son is dependent, so long as
she did not remarry, to the extent that she is unable
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to obtain maintenance from her husband’s estate,
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or from her son or daughter, if any, or his or her
estate. It has not been provided that she should
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also be one unable to obtain maintenance from her
father or her father’s estate. T he plaintiff was
accordingly a dependent of her father-in-law.
Under Section 22 of heirs of the plaintiff’s father-
in-law were bound to maintain her out of the estate
inherited by them from him. It is undisputed that
they did inherit agricultural land from him. They
were thus bound to maintain the plaintiff. As to
the amount of maintenance the amount claimed
being Rs.60/- per month only, a detailed enquiry
into the quantum of maintenance seems to be
unnecessary because the amount is hardly
sufficient to even keep the body and soul of a
human to gather in India today. It has not been
suggested that the defendants are not in a position
to pay that amount.”

As per the aforesaid judgment, petitioners are bound to maintain

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the respondents. In light of the aforesaid judgment, I do not find any
reason to interfere into the said writ petition.

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Accordingly, the writ petition is hereby dismissed.

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(MISS VANDANA KASREKAR)
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JUDGE
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manju
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Digitally signed by MANJU
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CHOUKSEY
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Date: 2018.05.17 16:05:38 +05’30’
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