Unmarried Hindu daughter is legally entitled to claim marriage expenses from her father, rules Kerala HC

January 11, 2018

A division bench of Kerala High court comprising of Justice P N Ravindran and Justice Narayana Pisaharadi held, that it is the legal right of a Hindu unmarried daughter to claim expenses of her intended marriage from her father even if she has other sources of income. 

The bench was hearing an appeal filed by a 25-years old woman against the order of Palakkad Family court, that has rejected her plea seeking marriage expenses from her father on the ground that the petitioner and her mother are getting a rental income of Rs. 12,000.
The petitioner contended that as per section 20(1) of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, a Hindu is bound during his or her lifetime, to maintain his or her legitimate or illegitimate children, and aged parents. Maintenance’, as defined under section 3(b)(ii) of the Act, includes the reasonable expense of and incidental to marriage. Hence, the legal obligation of father extends to meeting reasonable marriage expenses.

The High court while setting aside the family court’s order held that, even in a case where the mother is earning and is looking after her daughter, the daughter is still legally entitled to claim maintenance from her father, which also includes educational and marriage expenses. The court also observed that even though during the pendency of proceedings before the family court the daughter got married, the father cannot escape from his obligation of meeting the marriage expenses. 

The High court, however, did not award the entire amount of Rs. 5, 00,000 claimed by the petitioner and held that an amount of Rs.1,00,000 could be regarded as reasonable in the circumstances of the case as the share due from the father. The court further said that “the fact that the petitioner lavishly spent money for her marriage was not a sufficient ground to direct the respondent to bear with that liability in whole.”


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