HC: Unmarried daughter can claim expenses from father

Mumbai: An unmarried daughter is entitled to claim maintenance from her father even after attaining the age of 18 if her parents are divorced or estranged, the Bombay High Court has ruled. Also, a woman can file an application on behalf of her major daughter to seek maintenance, Justice Bharti Dangre on Friday ruled.
The HC was hearing a petition filed by a city-based woman challenging the family court’s order, dismissing her application seeking maintenance from her estranged husband for the couple’s 19-year-old daughter. The couple got married in 1988 and separated in 1997. Their three children — two boys and one girl — live with the mother.
Till the time the children were minors, their father paid a monthly maintenance for each child. However, after the daughter turned 18, the father refused to pay maintenance for her. Her mother claimed though her daughter had attained majority, she was still financially dependent on her as she was pursuing higher education. The woman also said her two sons were not in a position to help as one of them was repaying his education loan and the other was yet to get a job.
The woman, who is getting a monthly maintenance of Rs 25,000 from her husband, sought an additional Rs 15,000 for the daughter. The family court rejected her plea, saying that under section 125 (1) (b) of the CrPC, maintenance is to be paid only for minor children.
Justice Dangre in her ruling said past judgments had held that an unmarried major daughter could also seek maintenance, if she was not financially independent.