Since a long time immemorial, India has been a bouquet of many rituals. Blooming with its diversities, there were many things still left to be worked upon. From a significant time the authorities have been working on uplifting the women section of the society and trying their best to secure the rights they have.
Like everything, this so called section of women has been sub divided for the purpose of laws, into- married, unmarried, daughter, working woman, etc. But what went unnoticed were the widows. The Indian society has been harsh when it comes to widows. From the ritual of sati to depriving them the rights of human ( family, festivals, colours,etc.).
In its most talked, landmark judgment, Justice Chandrachud and Justice Gupta of Supreme
Court held that in case, widow of a Hindu Undivided Family, the brother-in-law will be responsible to maintain her. The court relied upon section 2(q) of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, stating that the relief can be sought against also be sought against the relatives of the husband.
“An aggrieved wife or a female living in a relationship in the nature of marriage may also file a complaint against a relative of the husband or the male partner, as the case may be”, Justice Chandrachud observed in the judgment.
Various other statutes are there to ensure the rights of the widows. The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 states that widows are eligible to claim right over the deceased husband’s property. This ensures her security of status and in monetary aspects after her husband’s death.
Statutes like The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956 casts an obligation on father-in-law to maintain her out of earning or property, if she is not able to maintain herself out of her earnings or her or her deceased husband’s property. It further defines a “widow” as a “dependent”. She is considered dependent until she gets remarried.
Further section 125 of The Code of Criminal Procedure of 1973 also talks about right of maintenance, although not specifically about that of widows. The quantum of maintenance is upon the discretion of the court. However, the amount is supposed to be adequate, and for the same purpose different section exist which determine the ground which should be taken into consideration.