Maintenance of Children and Aged Parents in the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act

It may be noted that the obligation of a Hindu to maintain his wife, minor sons, unmarried daughters and aged parents (whether he himself possesses any property or not) is personal and legal in character and arises from the very existence of the relationship between the parties.

S. 20 not only substantially confirms the existing law on the point, but also goes a step further to lay down that not only a male Hindu -as was the position under the previous law- but also a female Hindu, -is now under a legal obligation to maintain the above-mentioned persons. The earlier law did not also recognise the right of an illegitimate son of a Hindu (by a Hindu woman) to claim maintenance.

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It has been held in Kalla Maistry v. Kanniammal (A.I.R. 1963 M. 210) that a claim for maintenance under S. 20 can validly be made by an illegitimate child who is born of adulterous intercourse.

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