Ruling that a girl is entitled to receive maintenance from her father till the time of her marriage even if she has attained adulthood, a family court has ordered a 43- year-old man to pay for his 21-year-old daughter’s education and her monthly expenses.
The girl, a BA student in a city college, had moved the family court seeking maintenance. In her petition, she stated she wished to study further but it was difficult due to financial constraints. She also cited her mother’s inability to pay for her education.
The man, who works with the shipping company, separated from his first wife and subsequently refused to pay for her maintenance. He also stopped paying for his daughter’s education once she turned 18. The man, as per his own submission made to the court, earns over Rs 40,000 a month.
The man, who has re-married since his separation from the petitioner’s mother in 1993, claimed the girl was not his daughter. However, the girl volunteered to undergo DNA test as a part of a paternity test. The man refused to undergo the test.
“The law says he has to pay maintenance to his unmarried daughter, whether legitimate or otherwise,” family court Judge Laxmi Rao ruled. “The father is bound to not only maintain his unmarried daughter, but is also responsible for her education, including higher education, until her marriage,” the judge observed.
The petition, filed in 2011, was disposed early this week. The court has ordered the man to pay Rs 5,000 every month and arrears for the past years (since July 2012, when the petition was filed) to his daughter as maintenance.
The court relied on the Bombay High Court’s order in a similar case where the father refused to pay for his children.
While the father claimed he had another daughter to fend for, the court has observed the petitioner also deserved to be maintained accordingly.