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Bombay High Court Rules that unmarried, major daughter is entitled to maintenance

The Bombay High Court quashed a family court order and ruled that a major unmarried daughter is entitled to maintenance from her father. The court relied on a Apex Court judgment in Noor Saba Khatoon vs. Mohd. Quasim which said, “…the father cannot be extricated from his liability to maintain his unmarried daughter who is staying with his wife.”

A single Bench of Justice Bharati Dangre was hearing a plea made by the petitioner who got married in 1988 and had two son and one daughter. The couple got divorced in 1997. Her husband stopped paying maintenance for the children when her daughter turned 18 years old.

The petitioner added that though her daughter has attained the age of majority, she is financially dependent on the petitioner as she is pursuing her higher education.

The petitioner said that her sons are not in a position to help. The petitioner, who is getting a monthly maintenance of Rs 25,000 from her husband, sought additional Rs 15,000 for the daughter so as to meet her daughter’s day to day expenses.

She had claimed maintenance for her major daughter under Section 125 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure. The Family Court in its order regarding maintenance had said that the petitioner is not entitled to claim maintenance for the major daughter under Section 125. But the High court directed the Principal Judge of the family court to consider the petitioner’s claim afresh on the basis of past judgements of the Supreme Court and High Courts have held that an unmarried major daughter can also seek maintenance if she is not financially independent, even if she doesn’t suffer from any disability.

Read the judgment below:

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