Woman can get maintenance from stepsons: HC

Observing that a woman was entitled to maintenance from stepsons, Bombay High Court (HC) has upheld a lower-court order to two brothers from Nanded district of Maharashtra to pay a monthly amount to their stepmother.

Justice T V Nalawade of Aurangabad bench of HC dismissed the plea of Ravikumar and Shrinivas Chetlawar challenging an order of a judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) to pay Rs 750 per month to Radhabai.

Ravikumar, a doctor, and Shrinivas, an engineer, argued Radhabai was their stepmother and they were not bound to provide her maintenance under section 125 of CrPc. They relied on a Bombay HC judgment that a stepmother was not covered under the section.

However, Radhabai's lawyer relied on a Supreme Court (SC) verdict that a liberal view would have to be taken while considering provisions of the section and the intention of the legislature.

SC had said a childless woman may claim maintenance from her stepson provided she was a widow or her husband incapable of supporting and maintaining her.

Radhabai argued she had no issue and that she was the first wife of the father of the petitioners. As she could not conceive, there was the second marriage. She said all property left behind by her deceased husband was with the petitioners, both government servants.

HC observed that JMFC had granted a meagre amount as maintenance and Ravikumar and Shrinivas were duty bound to look after their stepmother.

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