Unmarried, major daughter entitled to maintenance: Bombay HC

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Mumbai, April 8: THE Bombay High Court on Friday held that an unmarried daughter, even after she attains majority, is entitled to claim maintenance from her father. The Court also said that the daughter is competent to file her own application claiming maintenance. The Court was hearing a petition filed by a woman seeking maintenance for her major daughter under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The legal issue was whether a major daughter is entitled to maintenance from her father, and whether a mother is competent to file such proceedings.
The petitioner, a Roman Catholic, got married in 1988 and had 3 children. She was divorced in 1997. Her husband stopped paying maintenance for the children when her youngest daughter turned 18 years old.
The petitioner has 2 sons aged 25 and 24 years respectively and a daughter who is now 19 years old. The petitioner said that though her daughter has attained the age of majority, she is financially dependent on the petitioner as she is pursuing her higher education. A considerable sum is required to meet her day to day expenses, the mother said, which she is unable to arrange.
The woman said that over the next 2 academic years, there is likely to be an increase in the educational expenses for her daughter as well as expenses on books and stationery, travelling expenses, mobile bills, Internet expenses, clothing, medical expenses, etc.
The Family Court in its order regarding maintenance had said the petitioner is not entitled to claim maintenance for the major daughter under Section 125 of the CrPC.
The HC relied on a Supreme Court judgment which said, “…the father cannot be extricated from his liability to maintain his unmarried daughter who is staying with his wife.” (Courtesy: IE)