MAINTENANCE UNDER HAMA (part 1) BY TWINKLE KWATRA

INTRODUCTION

Maintenance has been described in the definition clause of the act i.e, SEC 3(b) as something that can provide for food, clothing, shelter, education and medical expenses.

Basically, it is financial support paid by a husband or a father that covers all basic necessities of life.

The section also says that if the maintenance is to be provided to an unmarried daughter, it shall also cover all the reasonable expenses required in her day to day life till the day she gets married.

LET’S UNDERSTAND IT MORE THROUGH BARE ACT:

SEC 18: MAINTENANCE OF WIFE

  • a Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be maintained by her husband during her life time.
  • A Hindu wife shall be entitled to live separately from her husband without forfeiting her claim to maintenance—
(a) if he is guilty of desertion, that is to say, of abandoning her without reasonable cause and without her consent or against her wish, or will fully neglecting her;
(b) if he has treated her with such cruelty as to cause a reasonable apprehension in her mind that it will be harmful or injurious to live with her husband;
(c) if he is suffering from a virulent form of leprosy;
(d) if he has any other wife living;
(e) if he keeps a concubine in the same house in which his wife is living or habitually resides with a concubine elsewhere;
(f) if he has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion;
(g) if there is any other cause justifying living separately.
  • A Hindu wife shall not be entitled to separate residence and maintenance from her husband if she is unchaste or ceases to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion.

SEC 19: MAINTENANCE OF WIDOWED DAUGHTER-IN-LAW

  • A Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be maintained after the death of her husband by her father-in-law.
  • if 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—
    (a) from the estate of her husband or her father or mother, or
    (b) from her son or daughter, if any, or his or her estate.
  • but if father-in-law does not have any means to provide the maintenance as he does not have any coparcenary property in his possession out of which daughter-in-law has not obtained any share then she can not claim any maintenance from father-in-law.

  • and this obligation of father-in-law will be ceased on the remarriage of daughter-in-law.

SEC 20:MAINTENANCE OF CHILDREN AND AGED PARENTS

  • a Hindu is bound, during his or her lifetime, to maintain his or her legitimate or illegitimate children and his or her aged or infirm parents.
  • A legitimate or illegitimate child may claim maintenance from his or her father or mother so long as the child is a minor.
  • The obligation of a person to maintain his or her aged or infirm parent or a daughter who is unmarried extends in so far as the parent or the unmarried daughter, as the case may be, is unable to maintain himself or herself out of his or her own earnings or other property.

In this section “parent” includes a childless step-mother.

SEC 21: DEPENDANTS DEFINED

dependants mean the following relatives of the deceased :—

  •  his or her father;
  •  his or her mother;
  •  his widow, so long as she does not re-marry
  • his or her son or the son of his predeceased son or the son of a predeceased son of his predeceased son, so long as he is a minor, if he is unable to obtain maintenance, in the case of a grandson from his father’s or mother’s estate, and in the case of a great grand-son, from the estate of his father or mother or father’s father or father’s mother.
  • his or her unmarried daughter, or the unmarried daughter of his predeceased son or the unmarried daughter of a predeceased son of his predeceased son, so long as she remains unmarried, provided and to the extent that she is unable to obtain maintenance, in the case of a grand-daughter from her father’s or mother’s estate and in the case of a great-grand-daughter from the estate of of her father or mother or father’s father or father’s mother.
  • his widowed daughter if she is unable to obtain maintenance—
    (a) from the estate of her husband, or
    (b) from her son or daughter if any, or his or her estate, or
    (c) from her father-in-law or his father or the estate of either of them
  • any widow of his son or of a son of his predeceased son, so long as she does not remarry provided and to the extent that she is unable to obtain maintenance from her husband’s estate, or from her son or daughter, if any, or his or her estate; or in the case of a grandson’s widow, also from her father-in-law’s estate;
  •  his or her minor illegitimate son, so long as he remains a minor;
  •  his or her illegitimate daughter, so long as she remains unmarried.

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