Calcutta HC: Stepson Can’t Deny His Obligation, in Case Stepfather Fulfills Responsibilities as Biological Father

Aastha Thakur

Published on: 31 August 2022 at 22:28 IST

According to the Calcutta High Court, a stepson cannot dispute his duty to support his stepfather if he performs the same duties as the biological father. In a similar vein, the Court ruled that a biological mother who entered into a second marriage has an ongoing right to request child support from her son.

The Justice Kausik Chanda bench made this ruling, highlighting the fact that children have a moral duty to support their parents, which is what gives birth to the legal requirement to do so under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

The Case in Brief:

Sunil Debsharma, the petitioner, lost his father when he was a little boy. Her mother, Fuldi Debsharma, wed a widower named Thelu Debsharma (opposite party no. 2) who had two daughters and a boy from his previous marriage.

After that, the petitioner was raised by his birth mother, foster father, stepbrother, and sisters. After getting married in 2010, Sunil and his wife began to live apart.

Thelu (the biological father) and Fuldi (the stepfather) together filed an application under Section 125 CrPC in 2016 asking the petitioner for support. By the order impugned dated August 18, 2018, the Magistrate granted maintenance of Rs.2,500/- each per month in favor of Thelu and Fuldi to be paid by Sunil/petitioner. He challenged the order in revision before the High Court.

In the meantime, the petitioner’s wife suffered burn wounds and passed away suddenly. The petitioner claimed that his biological mother (Fuldi) and stepfather (Thelu) killed his wife. Thelu and Fuldi were detained by the police over the course of the inquiry, and once the investigation was complete, a charge sheet was filed against them.

In the instant matter revision plea, has been filed where the petitioner argued that the wrongdoings of his mother and stepfather disentitled them from claiming maintenance. He also submitted he has no job and not in position to pay amount claim under maintenance by his mother and stepfather.

Court’s Observations:

The Court examined the factual matter, and on the basis of it was stated that the petitioner was 3 yrs old at the time of his mother second marriage and he was technically raised by his biological mother and stepfather.

So the contention of plaintiff gets defeated here that Thelu cannot claim maintenance from his stepson leaving aside his biological children. Likewise, the Court also opined that even the biological mother can seek maintenance from the petitioner.

The Court further noticed that regarding the unnatural death of petitioner’s wife both the stepfather and the mother were arrested and the fact that the petitioner has lost his job during the lockdown period, the Court observed that the order of the court below had practically rendered infructuous and therefore, the same was set aside.

Still, the Court was of the opinion that matter must be heard with fresh start and need to be conclude within 6 months and the parties have been given the liberty to adduce further evidence to bring on record the subsequent events. 

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