Maintenance of children and aged parents– (1) Subject to the provisions of this section 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.
(2) A legitimate or illegitimate child may claim maintenance from his or her father or mother so long as the child is a minor.
(3) The obligation of a person to maintain his or her aged or infirm parent or 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
Explanation- In this section “parent” includes a childless stepmother.
Dependents defined– For the purposes of this Chapter “dependents” mean the following relatives of the deceased.
(i) His or her father;
(ii) His or her mother;
(iii) His widow, as long as she does not remarry;
(iv) 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; provided and to the extent that 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-grandson, from the estate of his father or mother or father’s father or father’s mother;
(v) His or her unmarried daughter for 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 granddaughter from her father’s or mother’s estate and in the case of a great-grand daughter from the estate of her father or mother or father’s father or father’s mother;
(vi) His widowed daughter; provided and to the extent that she is unable to obtain maintenance-
- from the estate of her husband; or
- from her son or daughter, if any, or his or her estate; or
- from her father-in-law or his father or the estate of either of them;
(vii) 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;
(viii) his or her minor illegitimate son, so long as he remains a minor;
(xi) his or her illegitimate daughter, so long as she remains unmarried.
Maintenance of dependents–
(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), the heirs of a deceased Hindu are bound to maintain the dependents of the deceased out of the estate inherited by them from the deceased.
(2) Where a dependent has not obtained, by testamentary or intestate succession, any share in the estate of a Hindu dying after the commencement of this Act, the dependent shall be entitled, subject to the provisions of this Act, to maintenance from those who take the estate.
(3) The liability of each of the persons who take the estate shall be in proportion to the value of the share or part of the estate taken by him or her.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2) or sub-section (3), no person who is himself or herself a dependent shall be liable to contribute to the maintenance of others, if he or she has obtained a share or part, the value of which is, or would, if the liability to contribute were enforced, become less than what would be awarded to him or her by way of maintenance under this Act.
Amount of maintenance– (1) It shall be in the discretion of the court to
determine whether any, and if so what, maintenance shall be awarded under the provisions of this Act, and in doing so, the court shall have due regard to the consideration set out in sub-section (2) or sub-section (3), as the case maybe, so far as they are applicable.
(2) In determining the amount of maintenance, if any, to be awarded to a wife, children or aged or infirm parents under this Act, regard shall be had to-
- The position and status of the parties;
- The reasonable wants of the claimant;
- If the claimant is living separately, whether the claimant is justified in doing so;
- The value of the claimant’s property and any income derived from such property, or from the claimant’s own earning or from any other source;
- The number of persons entitled to maintenance under this Act.
(3) In determining the amount of maintenance, if any, to be awarded to a dependent under this Act, regard shall be had to-
- The net value of the estate of the deceased after providing for the payment of his debts;
- The provision, if any, made under a will of the deceased in respect, of the dependent;
- The degree of relationship between the two;
- The reasonable wants of the dependent;
- The past relations between the dependent and the deceased;
- The value of the property of the dependent and any income derived from such property, or from his or her earnings or from any other course;
- The number of dependents entitled to maintenance under this Act.
Claimant to maintenance should be a Hindu– No person shall be entitled to claim maintenance under this Chapter if he or she has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion.
Amount of maintenance may be altered on change of circumstances-The amount of maintenance, whether fixed by a decree of court or by agreement either before or after the commencement of this Act, may be altered subsequently if there is a material change in the circumstances justifying such alteration.
Maintenance when to be a charge– A dependent’s claim for maintenance under this Act shall not be a charge on the estate of the deceased or any portion thereof, unless one has been created by the will of the deceased, by a decree of court, by agreement between the dependent and the owner of the estate or portion, or otherwise