Maintenance from Brother-in-Law: Latest High Court Judgment

In a significant judgment by the Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh, the case of Urmila, the wife of the deceased Babulal Jain, claimed maintenance from her brother-in-law, Manohar Lal Jain. This blog post explores the legal intricacies of the case and the court’s final decision delivered on 19th of July, 2023 in CRIMINAL REVISION No. 325 of 2021.

Background of the Case

Urmila’s husband, Babulal Jain, passed away shortly after their marriage. Alleging mistreatment and financial abuse by her brother-in-law, Manohar Lal Jain, she sought maintenance for herself and her daughter.

Urmila's Arguments

Urmila presented her case, highlighting the economic abuse she faced and her right to reside in the shared household under the Domestic Violence Act. She sought Rs. 45,000/- per month for maintenance and her daughter’s education.

Manohar Lal Jain's Arguments

Manohar Lal Jain refuted the allegations, claiming that Urmila was capable of earning and had gold ornaments and insurance money. He also argued against the existence of a domestic relationship at the time of filing the application.

Court's Contentions

Image of a bundle of notes between judge hammer and it's base. Bedside's that there is a calculator. Text overlay says "Maintenance from brother-in-law".

The court analyzed the definition of a domestic relationship and its relevance to the case. It examined Urmila’s entitlement to maintenance and protection under the Domestic Violence Act, considering her economic abuse and right to reside in the shared household.

Judgments Referred

The court referred to the Prabha Tyagi vs. Kamlesh Devi judgment, emphasizing the rights of an aggrieved person under the Domestic Violence Act. It also relied on the Saraswatty vs. Babu judgment to consider the conduct of parties before the enactment of the act.

Court's Decision

After thorough examination, the court upheld the Appellate Court’s decision, awarding Urmila Rs.7,000/- per month as interim maintenance. The court found her entitled to the protection and support provided under the Domestic Violence Act.

In conclusion, the judgment sets a significant precedent by allowing a wife to claim maintenance from her brother-in-law, providing relief to Urmila and ensuring the protection of women’s rights under the law.

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