Can widowed daughter-in-law file case under Section 125 of CrPC?


No, a widowed daughter-in-law cannot file a case for Maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure against her mother-in-law. Section 125 is applicable only for married woman. According to the Section, if any person having sufficient means neglects or refuses to maintain his wife who is unable to maintain herself, a Magistrate of the first class may, upon proof of such neglect or refusal, order such person to make a monthly allowance for the maintenance of his wife, at such monthly rate as such Magistrate thinks fit and to pay the same to such person as the Magistrate may from time to time direct.

However, the widowed daughter-in-law can claim maintenance from her father-in-law under Section 19 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. According to Section 19 of the Act, a Hindu wife shall be entitled to be maintained after the death of her husband by her father-in-law. Provided that she is unable to maintain herself out of her own earnings or other property or, where she has no property of her own, is unable to obtain maintenance from the estate of her husband or her father or mother, or from her son or daughter, if any, or his or her estate.

However, if the father-in-law does not has the means to do so from any coparcenary property in his possession out of which the daughter-in-law has not obtained any share them or the daughter-in-law remarries, the same is not enforceable.

Reference: The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act,1956
Section 19 – 202100468-20210041-2325



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