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Widow has rights to receive maintenance from her father-in-law: Chhattisgarh High Court

The court ruled that a Hindu widow can claim maintenance from her father-in-law if she cannot support herself financially from her salary or other assets.

Widow daughter-in-law has right to receive maintenance from father-in-law: Chattisgarh High Court - adt
Korba, First Published Jul 14, 2022, 11:00 AM IST

In a significant verdict, the Chhattisgarh High Court has ruled that if a widow is unable to support herself financially through her salary or other assets, she can claim maintenance from her father-in-law.

The case was heard by Justice Gautam Bhaduri and Justice Deepak Kumar Tiwari on a Division Bench. The court ruled that if, after the husband's death, the father-in-law removes his daughter-in-law from the house or the woman lives separately, she is legally entitled to maintenance.

A woman's father-in-law challenged the family court's decision in the High Court. After hearing from all parties, the High Court upheld the Family Court's decision. The court also denied the father-in-law's petition. This decision will set a precedent under the Hindu Marriage Act.

Modifying the family court's order to give Rs 2500, the High Court has ordered to give Rs 4000 per month to the daughter-in-law. According to the petition, a girl, the resident of Korba, was married in 2008 to a youth resident of Birra in the Janjgir-Champa district. The woman's husband died in 2012. The in-laws drove the woman home, after which she started living in her maternal home. The widow filed a complaint in the Janjgir Family Court in 2015 and sought maintenance from the in-laws' side. The court decided to give maintenance in favour of the widowed woman. However, the woman's father-in-law challenged the family court's decision in High Court.

The widow's father-in-law challenged the Family Court's decision in the High Court. He described the decision as illegal, stating through his lawyer that under the Hindu Marriage Act, any woman can seek maintenance from her husband, but no claim can be made against the in-laws. "I did not accompany my daughter-in-law out of the house; instead, she went to her maternal home. The Family Court order should be reversed."

After hearing both sides, the High Court's Division Bench clarified that, under the Hindu Marriage Act, the responsibility of the daughter-in-law lies with the father-in-law and in-laws following the death of the woman's husband. In this case, the daughter-in-law is entitled to maintenance after living separately or being thrown out of the house.

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