The Madras High Court has held that unmarried daughter can claim maintenance from her father by filing a petition under Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure.
The Trial Court, in this case [R. Kiruba Kanmani vs L. Rajan], rejected the girl's application on the ground that is a major and that in terms of Section 125 (1) (b) and (c) of CrPC, and that she is not entitled for any maintenance and that she does not suffer from any physical or mental disablement.
Contending that, combined reading of Section 125 of CrPC and Section 20(3) of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act makes it very clear that a father is under an obligation to maintain his unmarried daughter even if she has attained majority, the girl approached the High Court.
A recent judgment by the Bombay High Court [Agnes Lily Irudaya Vs. Irudaya Kani Arasan] was also brought to the notice of the High Court. In the said judgment also, it was held that the unmarried daughter though the attained majority is entitled to claim maintenance from the father. Justice N. Anand Venkatesh, who considered the plea, said:
"It is very clear from the above judgments that even though Section 125 restricts the payment of maintenance to the children till they attain majority, when it comes to the daughter, Courts have taken a consistent stand that even though the daughter has attained majority, she will be entitled for maintenance till she remains unmarried by virtue of Section 20(3) of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. In order to avoid multiplicity proceedings, the Courts have taken a consistent stand that the petition under Section 125 of CrPC can be entertained without pushing her to file an independent petition seeking for maintenance under Section 20(3) of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956"
As regards the observation by the Trial Court that she does not suffer from any mental disablement, the court said that, if the right to claim maintenance of the daughter is infringed, definitely it can be called as a injury which can very well be fit into the definition of mental injury.
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