Sankaran Nair, J.
1. An order was passed under Section 488, Criminal Procedure Code, directing the petitioner to pay to each of his illegitimate daughters maintenance at the rate of Rs. 7 (seven) a month. He now applies for an alteration of such allowance on account of a change in his and their circumstances.
2. The petitioner is a pleader and he alleges that his income has been considerably reduced of late. The Magistrate finds that his income might be fluctuating but there has not been such a change as would justify a reduction in the rate of maintenance awarded. In revision I cannot interfere with that finding.
3. The eldest daughter is now said to be 17 years old, and it is urged that she is no longer a 'child unable to maintain itself' under Section 488. The word 'child' has not been defined in the Criminal Procedure Code. In England it has got apparently various statutory definitions. But in the absence of any definition or anything to the contrary in an Act, I am of opinion that a 'child' is a person who has not reached full age. It is only then that she becomes competent to enter into any contract or enforce her claims; as this daughter has not attained the age of majrity, i.e., 18, I think she is a 'child' within the section.
4. Then it is urged that she is able to maintain herself. Her mother is a dancing girl and prostitute. She and her sisters live with her. The petitioner has, the Magistrate finds, failed to prove his allegation that his daughter already follows that profession. But it is said that at that age they become dancing girls and follow that life. But the law will not treat prostitution as a profession by which a girl might earn her livelihood and maintain herself under Section 488, Criminal Procedure Code. It is against public policy to do so.
5. It is also said that this woman might earn a livelihood by honest labour. It is not alleged that she belongs to the labouring class. She has not been married nor has the petitioner made any attempts to get her married. There is no evidence to show that any employment was or is open to her.
6. For these reasons I must hold that no such change of circumstances has been proved as would entitle the petitioner to any modification of the order.
7. The petition is therefore dismissed.