Judgments – Section 125 CrPC – Maintenance of Parents

Section 125 (1) (d) of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is a provision in Indian Law whereby a Magistrate can order children to make a payment of monthly allowance as maintenance to their Parents (father or mother).


Relevant extracts from a few landmark judgments of Supreme Court and various High Courts of India are enumerated below:

• Father or mother must be unable to maintain himself or herself
• Fulfilment of parental obligation is not a pre-condition to claim maintenance
• Daughter is liable to pay maintenance to parents
• Adoptive mother can claim maintenance
• Step-mother can claim maintenance
• Application for maintenance to be filed where the son / daughter lives

1.  Father or mother must be unable to maintain himself or herself :  Bombay High Court in Pandurang Bhaurao Dabhade vs Baburao Baburao Dabhade and another (1980 CriLJ 256 = 1980 (82) BOMLR 116) said :

Giving a plain meaning to the language used in section 125(1) and to the provisions relating to the father and mother in Clause (d) thereof, the only two circumstances which have to be gone into for the purpose of deciding a claim under section 125(1) appear to be that the father or mother must be unable to maintain himself or herself and secondly, the person against whom an order under section 125(1) is sought must have sufficient means to maintain the father or mother and yet neglects or refuses to maintain the father or mother.

The provisions in section 125(1) is a very special provision enabling the Magistrate to make an order against a son or daughter for payment of a monthly allowance for the maintenance of the father or mother who is unable to maintain himself or herself. The provision in section 125 is one of general application and is not related to the personal law of the parties. Implicit in the provision, therefore, is the statutory recognition of the obligation that a son who has sufficient means is bound to maintain a father or mother who is unable to maintain himself or herself. The provision is really in the nature of an ameliorative provision made for the first time recognising the right of infirm parents who are unable to maintain themselves to be maintained by their son or daughter who is possessed of sufficient means as also providing a remedy to enforce that right.

2.  Fulfilment of parental obligation is not a pre-condition to claim maintenance :  Bombay High Court in Pandurang Bhaurao Dabhade vs Baburao Baburao Dabhade and another (1980 CriLJ 256 = 1980 (82) BOMLR 116) concluded :

Having considered the provisions of section 125(1), it is clear to us that they do not contemplate that the obligation to maintain an aged, infirm parent who is unable to maintain himself or herself can be enforced only if it is preceded by the fulfilment of the parental obligation to maintain and bring up the children during the childhood of the children.

The argument which is advanced before us stems more from amoral indignation at being required to maintain a father who has not cared for the children during the time when he should have done so. However, effect must be given to the intention of the legislature which must be found from the words of section 125(1) alone and the petitioner cannot ask to be relieved form the said statutory obligation on any moral considerations.

It appears to us, therefore, clear that since the father in the instant case has been found unable to maintain himself and the petitioner who is a son is fairly well placed and is refusing to maintain him, the father was entitled to an order for maintenance under section 125(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

3.  Daughter is liable to pay maintenance to parents :  Supreme Court in Dr. Mrs. Vijaya Manohar Arbat vs. Kashirao Rajaram Sawai & another (AIR 1987 SC 1100) said :

An application under section 125(1)(d) of  the Code  of  Criminal  Procedure, 1973, by  a  father  claiming maintenance from his married daughter is perfectly maintainable.

There can be no doubt that it is the moral obligation of a son  or a daughter to maintain his or her parents.  It  is not desirable that even though a son or a daughter  has  sufficient means, his or  her  parents  would starve. Apart from any law, the Indian Society casts a duty on  the  children of a person to maintain their  parents  if they  are  not in a position to maintain themselves.  It  is also their duty to look after their parents when they become old and infirm.

The parents will be entitled to claim maintenance against their daughter provided,  however, the  other conditions as mentioned in the section  are fulfilled. Before ordering maintenance in favour of a father or a  mother against their married daughter, the court must be satisfied that the daughter has sufficient means of her own independently of  the means or income of  her husband, and that the father or the mother, as the case may be, is unable to maintain himself or herself.

Kerala High Court’s judgment in M. Areefa Beevi vs. Dr. K.M. Sahib (1983 CriLJ 412) reads :

Section 2 (y) of the Code (CrPC) says:  Words and expressions used herein and not defined but defined in the Penal Code have the meanings respectively assigned to them in that code.”

So we have to refer to the Indian Penal Code.

Section 8 of the I.P.C. reads: The pronoun “he” and its derivatives are used of any person, whether male or female.

Therefore the expression “his father or mother” occurring in Section 125 of the Cr. P.C. must be taken to have the meaning “her father or mother.

4.  Adoptive mother can claim maintenance :  Bombay High Court in Baban Alias Madhav Dagadu Dange vs Parvatibai Dagadu Dange (1978 CriLJ 1436 = 1978 (80) BOMLR 305) said :

According to the definitions given in the General Clauses Act, the expression “father” includes both natural as well as adoptive father and the expression “son” also includes both natural born son as well as an adopted son.

It is true that the General Clauses Act has not defined the expression “mother”. But that does not mean that necessarily the expression should be taken in its restrictive sense. Indeed there are many expressions which have not been defined in the General Clauses Act. The General Clauses Act does not claim to be an encyclopaedia or dictionary which defines all expressions. One has therefore to look, while interpreting such expressions which have not been defined, to the context in which the expression has been used. It would have been a different matter, had the expression “mother” been defined by the General Clauses Act only to mean the “woman” who has given birth to the child, that is to say the natural mother only. Indeed the definition of the expressions “father” and “son” in the General Clauses Act would furnish a clue to the interpretation of the term “mother” which has been left undefined in that Act.

Now if expression “father” and “son” is to be given wider interpretation, we do not see any valid reason why the expression “mother” also should not be given similar wider interpretation so as to include an “adoptive mother” as well.

Such an interpretation would also seem to accord with the legal status of an adopted son.

5.  Step-mother can claim maintenance :  Supreme Court in Kirtikant D. Vadodaria vs. State of Gujarat and another (1996(4) SCC 479) said :

A childless step-mother may claim maintenance from her step-son provided she is widow or her  husband, if  living, is  also incapable of supporting and maintaining her.

Karnataka High Court in Ulleppa S/o Siddanna Kamballi and others vs. Gangabai w/o Late Siddanna Kambali (2003 CriLJ 2566) said :

In the case on hand, material facts reveal that the step-mother namely the widow had two sons who are no more. Her daughter who is married, is living separately with her husband. This Court can take notice that in many cases, after marriage, the daughters join their husband’s family and that they may not be able to maintain their mother. Therefore from the facts of this case it is clear to me that the respondent (petitioner) is a widow and her daughter is not in a position to support and maintain her. In these circumstances, this Court can extend the logic and the reasonings of the Supreme Court by way of ordering maintenance to the respondents as though she is a helpless step-mother. To grant maintenance to such helpless step-mothers would be a motherly act and would be in consonance with the social object of providing maintenance to the destitute widow of Hindu Community. At the same time, I must add a rider that if it is proved that she has other modes of maintaining herself she may not able to get maintenance from her step-sons. The crucial question is as to whether she can maintain herself without support in the given set of facts. If the answer is ‘yes’ then she can claim maintenance from her step-sons. In the case on hand, the evidence on record would show that she is living alone and on account of her old age she is unable to maintain herself. It is not the case of the petitioners that her daughter can maintain her. If that were to be the reason she would not have filed the application. Taking into consideration the object of Section 125, the realities of helpless widow with a married daughter living separately, this Court has to lend its hands in the larger interest of attaining the object of Section 125.

6.  Application for maintenance to be filed where the son / daughter lives :  Supreme Court in Vijay Kumar Prasad vs State of Bihar & Others (2004 AIR 2123) said :

It is to be noted that Clauses (b) & (c) of sub section (1) of Section 126 relate to the wife and the children under Section 125 of the Code. The benefit given to the wife and the children to initiate proceeding at the place where they reside is not given to the parents. A bare reading of the Section makes it clear that the parents cannot be placed on the same pedestal as that of the wife or the children for the purpose of Section 126 of the Code.

As noted by this Court in several cases, proceedings under Section 125 of the Code are of civil nature. Unlike clauses (b) and (c) of Section 126(1) an application by the father or the mother
claiming maintenance has to be filed where the person from whom maintenance is claimed lives.

Related Reading

Sec 125 CrPC & Welfare of Senior Citizens Act
The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007
Maintenance Tribunals for Parents and Senior Citizens in Delhi
Elder Abuse in India – a case of Human Rights violations
› Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008 enforced
Benefits, Concessions and Schemes for Senior Citizens in India
Old Age Homes in India
State Commissions for Women in India
State Human Rights Commissions in India
Allahabad High Court on Procedure for Arrest in Matrimonial Disputes

Comments

  1. I NEED RECENT COURT JUDGEMENTS ON SECTION 125, MAINTENANCE OF PARENTS. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT ELSE THE COURTS HAVE OBSERVED THROUGHOUT INDIA IF THE FATHERS HAD USED THEIR CHILDREN AS COMMODITY AND SURVIVED AND THRIVED ON THE INCOME GENERATED BY SUBJECTING THEM TO DANGEROUS CHILD LABOUR.

  2. ssr.koteshwara rao says:

    mother – in – law can file maintenance on her daughter – in – law , if she is doing job under compensate grounds job of her son

    • vishal khanna says:

      I filed the same in court, maintainence from daughter in law and daughter in law got the job on compensate grounds of her son but court is denying, searching for any previous judgement. If anyone has, please do let me know!

  3. Should orphans be forced to maintain their biological parents who have never cared for him in their entire life provided he did not inherite anything(wealth,care,love,relation, legacy) from them? Is it Just ?

  4. rajashri dhande says:

    i need recent bombay high court judgement under maintance &welfare of parents &senior citizen act 2010
    please reply soon

  5. mrunal lekawale says:

    i want the last two to four years judgements relating to maintenance that husband has to avoid maintenance filed his banl loan statements that he has to pay per mnth.

  6. in case of a widow with a minor son and taking care of both parents aged above 75 years
    what scheme does the goverment have to support the system known as family incase of specialised medical expense of ailing elderly taken care of ?
    Reading and understanding judgement is one aspect but are there any government consessions or schemes to assist this condition?

  7. How the Maintenance of parents act 2007 has left out son in laws and daughter in laws is surprising. If the daughter is going to inherit property, the property is normally enjoyed by her husband also. It is a classic case where husbands go scot free without any responsibility towards his in laws. So also, sons inheriting property – daughter in laws would be enjoying the same. Then why son in laws and daughter in laws have been left out of the act – not able to understand.

    Also, daughters who do not have incomes of their own, independent of their husbands, also should be made to support their parents. The whole act should be amended to this effect that son in laws and daughter in laws also should be included to look after their father/mother in laws etc.

    Suppose the daughter or son predeceases the father, then the son in law or the daughter in law, as the case may be always claims his/her spouses’s share of the property. Then why this anomaly? Will anybody explain?

  8. @saraswati:though i have hardly any knowledge of CrPc, i would like you to go through the judgement (point no.3) stated above whereby it is given that the son in law is not excluded(or income of her husband….) so the son in law is not absolutely freed of his responsibilities.

  9. It is the responsibility of the daughter to maintain her parents. it is a social responsibility to every citizen to maintain their parents either daughter or son. We should not left the old age parents without sufficient means. It is the responsibility of the daughter and son equally to maintain their parents, who have sufficient means to lead their remaining life. It is the right of the parents to be maintain by their children.

  10. Please tell me whether parents can claim maintenance from their married daughter under Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 when they have/did the following:-

    (a) They disowned their married daughter from their property by publication of a public notice in newspapers.

    (b) They are having two employed sons.

    (c) they are earning monthly Govt pension around Rs. 10000/-

    (d) They are living in their big own house with all the facilities.

    (e) They are enjoying totally free medical facilities in Asia’s Premier Govt Hospital in Delhi.

    Kindly let me know if married daughter can be ordered to pay maintenance in spite of the following. If any relevant judgements are there, please help me by giving details.
    Thanks.
    RAHUL
    husband of aggrieved married daughter.

  11. alka shardha says:

    can daughter in law can claim maintenance from her father in law after the death of her 2nd husband (sepration through panch (people)agreement from the 1st husband with out legal divorce) & 1st husband alive.

  12. i want to know whether husband will get maintainence from wife under Cr.P.C 125

  13. i want to know can a mother at 60 above age can claim her 1/3rd share in property which is being in name of sons ,as mother once a power of attorney holder as sons were minor and had used her attorney and now the property belongs to sons as now they are grown up.

  14. Nikhil Ranjan Sarkar says:

    Please tell me the nature of justice we may expect from honorable court of law under “Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizens Act,2007″ when a married SON has done the following :

    (a) after death of his father 17 years back, left his widow mother to survive alone in utter solitude in her house, where her well placed govt. service holder son was not staying, with an ulterior intention.

    (b) finding her mother’s fast deteriorating condition both in health and financial front, her unemployed daughter taken her to her husband’s place of posting and started maintaining her on the means of her husband.

    (c) since then her son has almost disowned his mother.

    (d) since last 11 years she is living on son-in-law’s means. 3 years back her son-in-law got retired and last week she has received a severe cerebral attack and got paralyzed.

    (e) her well placed govt. service holder son when was informed about taking responsibility of her mother’s treatment refused straightway to comply.

    • Gautam Ch. Sarkar says:

      Plz file a petition against the well placed educated but heartless son U/S 5 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 before any Maintenance Tribunal for proper remedy instantly.

  15. If husband is unepmloyed than how can maintenece is payable?and wife is allready working before marraige.

  16. my father at the age of 56 yrs has done second marriage after the death of my mother without our consent and knowledge. Is he eligible for the maintenance allowance under Crpc 125. Presently he is having a son from his second wife and have enough property to be looked after. Pls reply me soon.

  17. I need recent case laws relating to section 125 of crpc ……under that maintenance shall be awarded for the illegitimate son on the basis of fathers assets or mean property or total getting rent

  18. rita vashist says:

    I want latest judgement related to highcourt of delhi and supreme court of maintenance of parents by children and right of parents to abondended their children from their property

  19. JItendra Kumar Singh says:

    I am jitendra Kumar Singh Presently live in Jamshedpur in Jharkhand.
    I want to know about my family property problem.
    I was born in bihar on that time my mother suffering with a major problem after few month of my born my mom was died. After her death my father unable to fulfil my requirement (I was on 6 months) then on that time my father’s elder brother take a chance to save my life . After few month my father again marrie with anather women.
    From her two sister and on brother. Now I am complete my all education . Both my father and my father’s eldest brother has been died. now problem is how I can claim my property because my step mother dont want to give me my parts of the property.
    Now I am 31 years old .
    Pls help me.

  20. I want to the recent judgement of Supreme court of India about the who does not Look after his parents they are not liable share the parent’s property. This news published in Dainik Bhaskar in page 16 DOP 16-3-12 edition.

  21. Rajamarthandan says:

    sir,one of my staff who was earlier during his service was directed by the court to pay Rs.7000/-PM as maintenance to his ex-wife.now the man has retired and is supposed to receive Rs.5.8 lakh as post retirement lumpsum.The ex-wife has applied with my office to give a share of 50% of this post retirement lumpsum amount (GPF,Leave salary and gratuity ect.)of the man.please advice me.Thank you.

  22. I want recent judgement where husband has got divorce based on his grounds of cruelty by wife and the maintenance need not be paid by the husband the woman and child.

  23. I want recent judgements passed where husband has to pay maintenance to his unemployed wife and minor daughter even when both are residing in the same house. I also want to know the maximum percentage of his income payable to both wife and the child. Please help. Thank you.

  24. I am suffering from fake complaint by my grandfather against me & my father. My uncle is actuate to my grandfather for complaint under section 125(1) against me & my father.
    Because my uncle want to take all properties of my grandfather without giving any part to my father. Financially my grandfather is very strong & he is admit a face written complaint under section 125(1)
    Please advice me what i do……………………….

  25. RISHIKESH says:

    Respected Sir,

    I have problem in my family we got one house in mumbai we sold that property for
    new flat we are 2 brothers elder brother was taken flat on his name becuse he did loan on that flat and he paid it too. but now days he dont to want keep me & my old age mother
    at this place but we do not have any other place to leav i have low salary my brother
    works in abbrod he got around 2 lak in one month so please help us their is any rule to save me my mother i here about old age parants maintance rule how many percent in this rule please give me GR. Site or any suggestion

  26. subhash gumber says:

    sir i am working as manager in a nationalized bank.my father get a huge loan from this bank and account became NPA under the pressure of higher official i have to pay this by sale of my house withdraw of pf and getting other loan.now sdm has directed me to pay rs 3000 pm to my father as per his application filed at the place where my father lives not at my residence place.i am getting 55000 gross and 28000 net salary out of which i am paying int and installment of various loan of rs 14000 so i have net 14000 for my monthly expenses i have three brother and two sister all are average income 10000 to 15000 .can i filed civil suit against the decision to claim maintenance amt from all brother and sister.My father is daily drunker. please reply

  27. suresh babu says:

    I am a sick person and I can’t get married and Iam 43 year old man lives in Kerala who doesn’t have a stable job. My step mother’s relatives force me to take care of her for the rest of her life as she is a widoiw and un healthy. She gets my father’s pension and lives her own house. But I am very uncomfortable to live with her or look after her.
    What is the legal solution?

  28. Hubertson says:

    Dear SSR Koteshwara Rao, you have mentioned that mother-in-law can file maintenance on her daughter-in-law, if she gets a job on compassionate grounds.

    Can you please give few decided cases proving it?

    Based on which sections of the Acts, mother-in-law is entitled for maintenance from daughter-in-law?

    Please clarify.

  29. sir, present my job bombay my monthly salary 60,000 my wife edu. M.COM But she not working i have no child our marrige 3 year compalit she was 1 year case file 125, plz tell me how many pay monthly mainatanase ?

  30. leela singh says:

    i want to know recent amendment in Maharashtra Act regarding 125 ( 2A) for maintenance from husband

  31. Sir, my father was adopted at 3 years age
    Now he is 50 years old
    We are staying in his adoption parents home
    But the problem is ofter 47years his born mother put case on my father under section 125 cr pc
    And she ask share in his adoption property
    She has any right to put this case on my father

  32. what is provision in this law to vacate house owned by father and forcefully occupied by the two major sons, and they do not allow their father to enter the house and to stay in their father house, from the last one year.

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