2012 ALL MR (Cri) 3874


Dr. Ravikumar S/O. Gopalkishan Chetlawar & Anr. Vs. Smt. Radhabai Gopalkishan Chetlawar

Criminal Application No.1486 of 2001

11th October, 2012

Petitioner Counsel: Ms. MANJUSHRI SHENDGE h/f Shri P.R. KATNESHWAR
Respondent Counsel: Shri V.P. DESHMUKH h/f Shri P.V. MANDLIK

Criminal P.C. (1973), S.125 - Maintenance - Entitlement of a step mother - Applicant was a childless stepmother and also widow - Entitled to claim maintenance from her step son. 1996 (4) SCC 479 Rel. on. (Paras 3, 6)

Cases Cited:
Ramabai w/o. G.M. Balraj Vs. Dinesh s/o. G.M. Balraj and another, 1976 Mh.L.J. 565 [Para 2]
Kirtikant D. Vadodaria Vs. State of Gujrat, 1996 (4) SCC 479 [Para 3]
Saroj Govind Mukkawar Vs. Chandrakalabai Polshetwar & Anr., 2009 ALL MR (Cri) 1139 =2009 (2) Bom.C.R. (Cri) 71 [Para 4]


JUDGMENT :- The application is filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. and under Article 227 of the Constitution of India to challenge the order made by JMFC on Exh.5 of M.C.A.No.37/01. In maintenance proceeding filed under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. the JMFC, Degloor has granted interim maintenance at the rate of Rs.750/- per month in favour of the respondent. Both sides are heard.

2. The challenge to the order of JMFC is mainly on the ground that Smt.Radhabai respondent is the step mother of the petitioners. Argument was advanced that as she is the step mother, the present petitioners are not bound to provide anything for her maintenance even u/s 125 of Cr.P.C. On this point, reliance was placed on the case reported as 1976 Mh.L.J.565 Bombay High Court [Ramabai w/o G.M.Balraj V/s Dinesh s/o G.M.Balraj and another]. In this case, this Court has discussed status of step mother and has interpreted the term "mother" [given in Section 125 of Cr.P.C.] It is observed that the step mother is not covered in Section 125 of Cr.P.C.

3. On the point involved, the other side placed reliance on the case reported as 1996 (4) S.C.C. page 479 [Kirtikant D. Vadodaria Vs. State of Gujrat]. The Apex Court has discussed the status of the step mother and also has made observation with regard to her right of maintenance u/s 125 of Cr.P.C. The Apex Court has made following observation :

"Having regard to this special object the provisions of Section 125 of the Code have to be given a liberal construction to fulfil and achieve this intention of the legislature. Consequently, to achieve this objective, in our opinion, a childless stepmother may claim maintenance from her stepson provided she is a widow or her husband, if living, is also incapable of supporting and maintaining her."

4. Another case reported as 2009 (2) Bom.C.R. [Cri] 71 : [2009 ALL MR (Cri) 1139] [Saroj Govind Mukkawar V/s Chandrakalabai Polshetwar & Anr] was cited. This High Court has referred aforesaid case of Supreme Court and has relied upon the view expressed by the Apex Court.

5. Submissions were made in the present case that Radhabai has no issue and she was the first wife of father of the present petitioners. As she could not conceive, there was the second marriage. It was submitted that all the property left behind by her deceased husband is with the petitioners. The petitioner no.1 appears to be a Doctor and it was submitted that petitioner no.2 is an Engineer. Both are in Government service.

6. In view of the observation made by Apex Court in the case cited supra, and in view of the facts of the present case, this Court holds that it is not possible to interfere in the order made by JMFC in favour of the respondent. A meager amount of maintenance is granted as interim maintenance. So, the Application stands dismissed. Rule is discharged.

Application dismissed.