A single judge of Madras High Court held that the maintenance arrears of a deceased daughter are her property and such property is inheritable to her mother under HSA.
From Para 2, (crucial piece of fact)
2.The fact of the case is that the petitioner is the husband. The respondent is the mother-in-law of the petitioner. The petitioner married the respondent’s daughter Saraswathi in the year 1991. Due to misunderstanding, they separated. The petitioner/ husband by filing a divorce petition under Section 13 (1)(i) (b) of Hindu Marriage Act before the Sub Court, Seyyur, got a divorce decree by an order dated 20.01.2005. Thereafter, Saraswathi filed a maintenance case in M.C.No.1 of 2014 before the Judicial Magistrate No.II, Madurantagam. After trial of the maintenance case, the learned Judge awarded a monthly maintenance of Rs.7,500/- payable by the petitioner/husband to his wife Saraswathi on 22.01.2021 and the amount was ordered to pay from the date of petition i.e. on 04.01.2014.
Continuing from same Para,
For collecting the arrears of maintenance, the wife Saraswathi filed an application in CMP.No.678 of 2021 in M.C.No.1 of 2014 before the Judicial Magistrate No.II, Maduranthagam. In the petition, she claimed the arrears of maintenance amount of Rs.6,37,500/-. Pending petition, the wife
Saraswathi died on 05.06.2021. Thereafter, her mother filed CMP.No.2529 of 2021 to implead her as a petitioner and to permit her to recover the
arrears of maintenance amount of Rs.6,22,500/-. The learned Judge, after hearing both the parties, allowed the petition for impleading the mother-in-law of the petitioner as petitioner for collecting the arrears of maintenance amount of Rs.6,22,500/- on the ground that she all along acted as a
guardian to the deceased wife Saraswathi as she was mentally affected and also a legal heir to the deceased daughter. Aggrieved by this order, the
petitioner/husband filed the present criminal revision case, which is under challenge.
Once the competent Court held that the divorce was granted on the ground of desertion, there is no scope of granting maintenance u/s 125 CrPC, in the view of Sec 125(4) CrPC. All this farce could have been avoided if the Petitioner herein, moves to cancel the maintenance Order, on the weight of divorce on the ground of desertion.
Annadurai Vs Jaya on 21 Apr 2023