Considering financial constraints a girl child faces,the Bombay High Court has asked a bank officer to pay Rs five lakh as a lump sum maintenance to his daughter,who has been living with her mother after the couple’s divorce 22 years ago.
“It cannot be denied that the appellant (girl) is now facing several difficulties in day-to-day life. The foremost amongst them is financial difficulty”,said a division bench which recently granted her Rs five lakh maintenance towards education and marriage expenses.
The 28-year-old girl had filed an appeal against an order of a family court in Pune,which refused her maintenance on the ground that her father had already paid permanent alimony to his wife (and daughter) at the time of divorce.
Justices Naresh Patil and A R Joshi of the High Court,after interacting with the girl and parents,noted,”She is in the midst of completing her Chartered Accountancy course and requires substantial amount to pay by way of tuition fees. She narrated that there is nobody to take care of her basic needs.Her mother is not earning. They are at the mercy of relatives”.
“She is 28-years-old and some arrangement is required to be made for her marriage. Even for arranging marriage,
suitable qualifications are looked into so also her capacity to bear marriage expenses. She has no answers to these issues as she is practically penniless and just surviving in life”,the bench further noted.
The girl pleaded that her parents got married on January 22,1983,and she was born out of the wedlock on December 28,1984. Unfortunately,her parents sought divorce ,and her permanent custody was given to her mother by the family court. Her mother got Rs 35,000 as permanent alimony for herself and Rs 20,000 as maintenance for her (daughter). The appellant said she was staying with her grandfather who expired in 1997. In 2002,when maintenance was awarded by the family court she was in 12th standard.
She had secured 75 per cent marks in SSC and wanted to pursue studies in Science faculty but could not do so because of the financial constraints.
She further said that she was interested in taking up computer course and keen on doing a job and needs money for her marriage. The appellant and her mother have no means of earning and they have to borrow money from relatives for their maintenance.
The appellant pleaded that considering the high costs of living it is very difficult to look after herself. Her father was manager in Union Bank of India and getting salary
of Rs 25,000 per month. He has two flats at Pune and agriculture land. She prayed for lump sum amount of Rs seven lakh for education and marriage from her father as maintenance.
Her father opposed daughter’s plea saying he had already given permanent alimony to wife and maintenance to his daughter. He said the petition was filed to harass him. He said that after getting divorce he married again and had two children from the second marriage. So,he had to look after his family.
According to him,his first wife was earning and also owned a property. Considering this,the family court in Pune had dismissed the appellant’s plea for maintenance.However,during the course of hearing,the High Court called the parties to know their views and interacted with them. The appellant narrated her difficulties and hardships faced by her in day-to-day life.
The judges convinced the father to pay maintenance to his daughter and finally he agreed. Accordingly,the bench passed an order granting Rs five lakh lump sum maintenance to the daughter.