The Uttarakhand High Court in its landmark judgment dated August 09, 2023 ordered that father and mother – both parents are liable for maintenance of a child under Section 125 CrPC. A single bench of Justice Pankaj Purohit specified that this responsibility cannot only rest with the father.
The High Court ordered:
The provisions of Section 125 Cr.P.C. has already been changed, as discussed above and according to the language of the present Section 125 Cr.P.C., in the opinion of this Court “person” would include both male and female and in reference to a minor child whether legitimate or illegitimate mother or father having sufficient means if neglects and refuses to maintain such minor child would be held liable to pay the maintenance of such child.
Nathu Lal and Anshu Devi Gupta got married in May 1999 and a son was born to them in the year December 2000.
The couple got divorced in September 2006 due to differences between them and the minor son started living with his father.
The petition for maintenance was filed on 25.03.2011 under Section 125 CrPC by the respondent-minor through his natural guardian (father) against the revisionist-mother in the court of learned Judge, Family Court, Udham Singh Nagar.
Minor Son’s Petition
It was alleged that after the dissolution of marriage, revisionist was never visited the respondent-minor, which deprived the respondent-minor of love and affection of his mother. It was also pleaded in the petition for maintenance that the financial condition of father of respondent-minor deteriorated and he had no means to provide quality education, upbringing and food to the respondent-minor.
According to respondent-minor, it is the duty of the mother also along with father to maintain her child. It was further pleaded that as against the financial condition of his father, revisionist-mother was a Government Teacher and was getting at the time of filing of the petition for maintenance about Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000/- per month as she was posted in a primary school at Ramnagar. On the basis of the aforesaid averments, respondent prayed for Rs 10,000 per month from his mother.
Widow Can’t Demand Maintenance From In-Laws Under Section 125 CrPC | Bombay High Court Aurangabad Bench
Petition Opposed by Mother
The petition for maintenance was contested by the revisionist Anshu Devi Gupta by filing an objection on 27.03.2012.
According to her, as per the terms of compromise during her divorce, the respondent-minor was retained by his father Nathu Lal with him and had taken his responsibility to maintain and to bring him up. However, she had stated that after the dissolution of marriage with Nathu Lal, she solemnized marriage with one Babu Lal and out of the second marriage, a son named S was born to the them.
She informed that court that her second husband had died in an accident and thus she had to maintain her 2nd son S along with her in-laws (2nd husband’s parents).
Gupta’s counsel challenged the family court’s decision on the basis that Section 125 of the CrPC obligated maintenance duty solely upon fathers, not mothers.
Countering the argument, Nathu Lal’s counsel said that the term “person” within the CrPC denotes both genders and should not be restricted to “father.”
Child Visitation Cannot Be Linked To Maintenance; Husband Duty Bound To Pay Even If Wife Has Own Income: Madras High Court
Uttarakhand High Court
A single bench of Justice Pankaj Purohit of the Uttarakhand High Court highlighted:
A parent, regardless of gender, possessing adequate means yet neglecting or refusing to provide for their minor child, whether legitimate or not, is liable for child maintenance.
The High Court added,
It is clear from the aforesaid sub-Section (2) of Section 126 Cr.P.C. that there is no such word “father” or “husband” in the aforesaid sub-section, as it was there in the old Cr.P.C. Section 488 sub-Section (6).
Now, in place of “father” or “husband”, “person” has been incorporated and it is provided that “all evidence to such proceedings shall be taken in the presence of the person against whom an order for payment of maintenance is proposed to be made.
Thus, this case law is also of no help to the revisionist and the same is distinguished by this Court on the aforesaid reasons.
READ ORDER | Earning Parents Have Shared Responsibility To Maintain Their Children: Supreme Court Of India
The Court did not find any illegality with the Family Court’s judgment dated March 2013 citing that the revisionist herself is a Government Teacher, who at present, would be getting a minimum Rs 1,00,000 per month as salary.
Accordingly, the mother’s appeal for not paying maintenance to her son was dismissed.
My Mom Kept Me Away From My Father For Many Years | Parental Alienation | Shared Parenting
LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW:
Read Landmark Judgment | Both Parents Liable To Pay Maintenance To Child U/s 125 CrPC: Uttarakhand HC— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) August 28, 2023
"Person would include both male & female. If mother/father having sufficient means neglect to maintain child, they would be held liable"#VoiceForMenhttps://t.co/TkoBw4vpk9
Join our Facebook Group or follow us on social media by clicking on the icons below
Blogging about Equal Rights for Men or writing about Gender Biased Laws is often looked upon as controversial, as many 'perceive' it Anti-Women. Due to this grey area - where we demand Equality in the true sense for all genders - most brands distance themselves from advertising on a portal like ours.
We, therefore, look forward to your support as donors who understand our work and are willing to partner in this endeavour to spread this cause. Do support our work to counter one sided gender biased narratives in the media.
To make an instant donation, click on the "Donate Now" button above. For information regarding donation via Bank Transfer, click here.
Alternately, you can also donate to us via our UPI ID: voiceformenindia@hdfcbank