Case Title: Malini Chaudhri vs Ranjit Chaudhri
A division bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal of Delhi High Court while dismissing the woman’s plea, ruled that a divorced daughter cannot claim maintenance from her mother or brother under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act.
“An unmarried or widowed daughter is recognized to have a claim in the estate of the deceased, but a “divorced daughter” does not feature in the category of dependents entitled to maintenance”.
The bench pointed out that there were 9 categories of dependents under the section 21 The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, however divorced daughter is not one among the said categories.
“However difficult situation as it may be, but under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act as she is not a “dependent” as defined under the Act and thus not entitled to claim maintenance from her mother and brother”.
The plea was field by a woman under section 22 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, challenging the trial’s court order for rejecting her petition.
It is submitted that the woman got married in the year 1995, however her husband deserted her and went to United States of America, after which she got ex-parte divorce in the year 2001.
It is further submitted by the woman that her maternal family was paying her Rs 45,000 till 2014 on the assurance that she would not press for her share in the property, however after these payments were stopped by her maternal family and due to which she started facing the shortage of money.
Wherein, it is responded by the bench while pointing out that the court could not order her mother and brother to pay her maintenance.
It is noted by the bench that the woman’s father had bequeathed 9 acers of land to her sister and her which is sold by them in the year 2001 and shared the sale amount.
After several observations made by the bench, the appeal of the woman got dismissed.