But the Hindu Women’s Right to property Act, 1937 as amended by Act XI of 1938 has taken away the right of a Hindu widow whose husband was, at his death, a member or a joint Hindu family possessed of property, to claim maintenance under the Hindu Law from the other members of the family.
[Misri Lai v. Mst. Simarta (1948) 23 Luck. 277], The effect of this Act is to put the widow in the place of her deceased husband and the husband’s interest in the property, of the joint family vests immediately upon his death in the widow by succession, so the question of maintenance does not arise.
A widow is not bound to reside with her husband’s family she may reside even with her parents but she must not leave her husband’s house for improper or unchaste purposes. A widow is entitled to separate maintenance out of the husband’s estate unless she is guilty of unchastity or other improper practices after she leaves that residence.
Where a husband has made a condition in his will that the widow should reside with his family members, she is not entitled to separate maintenance if she resides elsewhere without just cause.
The right of a widow to maintenance is conditional upon her leading a chaste life. But the burden of proving the unchastity lies upon the other party. When it was proved, she forfeits her right to maintenance.
In, A.I.R. 1979, Alld. 24, it has been declared that under Section 19 of the Act of 1956, a father-in-law is liable to maintain his daughter-in-law and to provide her a house.