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Mukhtiar Kaur vs Pritam Kaur & Ors on 15 October, 2019

CR No.3540 of 2014(OM) 1

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT
CHANDIGARH
CR No.3540 of 2014(OM)
Date of Decision-15.10.2019
Mukhtiar Kaur … Petitioner
Versus
Pritam Kaur and others … Respondents

CORAM:-HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE RAJ MOHAN SINGH
Present: Mr. S.K. Bakolia, Advocate for the petitioner.
Mr. J.C. Kapoor, Advocate for the respondents.
***
RAJ MOHAN SINGH, J.

[1]. Petitioner has assailed the order dated 04.07.2013

passed by Guardian Judge, Chandigarh, vide which application

under Section 19 of the Hindu Adoption and SectionMaintenance Act filed by

the respondents was allowed.

[2]. The application was allowed on the ground that after the

death of Inderjit Singh husband of plaintiff No.1 on 17.04.1997, all

the plaintiffs/respondents requested the defendant/petitioner and her

husband to give share in the suit property to the plaintiffs and the

property bearing plot No.C-29 at Focal Point Moga, measuring 1000

sq. yards which was exclusively purchased/owned by husband of

plaintiff No.1.

[3]. Plaintiffs alleged that the defendants have forcibly and

illegally occupied the plot in question which was purchased by

husband of plaintiff No.1 and the same was allotted to him by the

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CR No.3540 of 2014(OM) 2

Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation Limited, Sector-17,

Chandigarh vide letter dated 19.10.1988 and price was also paid by

the husband of plaintiff No.1 from his own pocket. No other person

including the defendants had paid any amount towards consideration

of the plot. Plaintiff No.1 claimed that she is not in a position to

maintain herself and her three children in these days of high prices

and has not obtained any share from the ancestral property till date.

Plaintiff No.1 has not re-married after the death of her husband

Inderjit Singh. Plaintiffs prayed for grant of maintenance to the tune

of Rs.40,000/- per month i.e. Rs.10,000/- each to the plaintiffs.

[4]. The suit was contested by the defendants claiming that

the suit is not maintainable and the plaintiffs have not come to the

Court with clean hands. Plaintiffs have concealed the material facts.

A suit for declaration filed by the plaintiffs to the effect that they are

co-owners of 1/6th share in the six properties is pending. Defendant

No.1 is claimed to be head of the family and owner in possession of

khasra No.157 Patti Kharain Di, Moga Mehla Singh as he had

purchased the said property on 12.06.1967 and vacant plot and

thereafter, spent huge amount in construction of the house.

Thereafter, they started living in the house. Inderjit Singh was

residing with the defendants and the defendants spent huge amount

on his education and got him educated. He had passed BA LLB and

thereafter, he remained posted in Audit Department at Chandigarh.

Defendant No.1 paid Rs.2,50,000/- to Inderjit Singh for purchasing a

plot in Chandigarh.

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CR No.3540 of 2014(OM) 3

[5]. Both the parties went to trial on definite issues.

[6]. Guardian Court recorded that the relationship between the

parties is proved on record. Inderjit Singh was husband of plaintiff

No.1 and son of the defendants. Inderjit Singh died on 17.04.1997

leaving behind the plaintiffs as legal heirs. It is also admitted by the

defendants that they are owners of various properties as mentioned

in the petition. The factum of plaintiff No.1 having not re-married after

the death of Inderjit Singh is also an admitted fact. Guardian Judge,

Chandigarh allowed the application to the extent of granting

maintenance of Rs.3500/- per month to plaintiff No.1, Rs.2500/- per

month to plaintiff No.2 till her marriage and Rs.2000/- per month to

plaintiff No.4 till he attains the age of majority. The maintenance was

awarded from the date of filing of the petition.

[7]. Learned counsel for the petitioner relied upon an

information dated 29.04.2014 received under SectionR.T.I Act to the effect

that plaintiff No.1 Pritam Kaur is working on the post of Auditor

against the salary of Rs.23,376/- per month. After the death of her

husband, she was granted monthly family pension @ Rs.780/- plus

admissible D.A. per month upto 17.04.2004 and thereafter, Rs.450/-

plus admissible D.A per month. After implementation of 5th Central

Pay Commission, it was revised to Rs.2650/- plus admissible D.A.

upto 17.04.2004 and thereafter, Rs.1590/- plus admissible D.A. per

month.

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CR No.3540 of 2014(OM) 4

[8]. The aforesaid information was received only on

29.04.2014 after passing of the impugned order. There was nothing

on record to show that the plaintiffs were earning any income from

any source. No consideration could have been made by the

Guardian Court on that premise. Mere exhibition of document does

not dispense with proof of its execution, particularly when a specific

issue was framed by the Guardian Court in the context of entitlement

of maintenance in favour of the plaintiffs. Defendants did not lead

any such evidence during course of the trial. Guardian Court after

due assessment of evidence on record, held that the plaintiffs are

entitled for grant of maintenance in the manner as suggested in the

impugned order.

[9]. Right of widow for maintenance after the death of her

husband has been acknowledged by the Co-ordinate Bench in

Balbir Kaur Vs. Harinder Kaur, 2003(1) RCR (Civil) 624 and it was

held that widowed daughter-in-law of a pre-deceased son is entitled

to claim right of maintenance against the self-acquired property of

her father-in-law. In Smt. Raina Vs. Hari Mohan Budhaulia,

2005(3) RCR (Civil) 129 (Allahabad), it was held that widow having

no means to maintain herself and minor children can claim

maintenance for herself and for children from father-in-law. Similar

view was taken by the Division Bench of Chattisgarh High Court in

FAM No.72 of 2016 titled Mithai Lal Vs. Premlata Sahu and others

decided on 15.09.2016.

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CR No.3540 of 2014(OM) 5

[10]. In cases of right of residence in a shared household under

SectionDomestic Violence Act, the wife of pre-deceased son was held not

entitled to claim right of residence. The house being self-acquired

property of father-in-law cannot be termed to be shared household in

terms of Section 2 of the Domestic Violence Act. In S.R. Batra and

another Vs. Smt. Taruna Batra, 2007(1) RCR (Criminal) 403, the

Hon’ble Apex Court has laid down certain principles. The self-

acquired property of in-laws cannot be treated to be shared

household in terms of Section 2(s) of the Act. Section 17(2) of the

Act prescribes that the aggrieved person shall not be evicted or

excluded from the shared household or any part of it by the

respondent save in accordance with procedure established by law. In

Smt. Preeti Satija Vs. Smt. Raj Kumari and another, 2014(1) RCR

(Criminal) 1035 Delhi (DB), it was held that daughter-in-law has a

right of residence in a shared household under SectionDomestic Violence

Act. In RSA No.4398 of 2016 titled Varinder Kaur Vs. Jitender

Kumar and another decided on 21.10.2016, this Court held that

daughter-in-law has no right to occupy self-acquired house of father-

in-law, particularly when her husband is alive. In the instant case, no

such proposition is involved.

[11]. The Co-ordinate Bench of this Court in Suman Vs. Tulsi

Ram, 2015(1) RCR (Civil) 304 by relying upon ratios of S.R. Batra

and another’s case (supra) and Smt. Preeti Satija’s case (supra),

held that the wife of pre-deceased son does not have any right of

residence under Section 17 of the Act for the purpose of living in the

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CR No.3540 of 2014(OM) 6

self-acquired house of father-in-law, however subject to protection as

granted in S.R. Batra and another’s case (supra) that she shall not

be evicted or excluded from the shared household or any part of it

save in accordance with procedure established by law. The ratios of

S.R. Batra and another’s case (supra) and Smt. Preeti Satija’s

case (supra) were applicable in criminal cases arising out of

SectionDomestic Violence Act. Such a proposition is not attracted in the

present case.

[12]. In the instant case, the Court has deliberated upon the

evidence on record to hold that the wife of pre-deceased son of the

petitioner and his children are entitled for maintenance on the basis

of evidence led on record. The evidence as sought to be produced

on record by way of R.T.I information was not led before the

Guardian Court, nor any such application for additional evidence has

been filed in the present revision petition. Mere production of R.T.I

information on record is not sufficient to dispense with proof of its

execution.

[13]. In view of findings recorded by the Guardian Court,

Chandigarh, I do not see any justification to interfere in this revision

petition. This revision petition is found to be totally devoid of merits

and is accordingly dismissed.

15.10.2019
Prince (RAJ MOHAN SINGH)
JUDGE
Whether reasoned/speaking Yes/No
Whether reportable Yes/No

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