Hearing a divorce petition filed by an estranged husband after the Punjab & Haryana High Court denied it, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a “daughter is not entitled to any amount” from her father for her education or marriage if she “does not want to maintain any relationship” with him.
The Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh observed that in the particular case, the daughter was 20 years old and free to choose her path. Since she did not want to maintain any relationship with the father, she could not demand money from him for her education.
‘In so far as the daughter’s expenses for education and marriage are concerned, it appears from her approach that she does not want to maintain any relationship with the appellant and is about 20 years of age. She is entitled to choose her own path but then cannot demand from the appellant the amount towards the education. We, thus, hold that the daughter is not entitled to any amount’, the Court stated.
The court stated that in determining the amount to be paid as permanent alimony to the mother, it would take care to ensure that funds are available for the mother to support her daughter if she so desires.
The estranged man had initially filed a petition for restitution of conjugal rights, which was denied. He then petitioned the district judge for the dissolution of his marriage.
The plea was granted on the grounds of desertion, but the wife later challenged it in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The High Court overturned the lower court’s decision, prompting the husband to file an appeal with the Supreme Court.
Attempts at reconciliation were made before the Supreme Court Mediation Centre while the divorce petition was pending. Even the daughter and father’s relationship was subjected to reconciliation proceedings.
The daughter had lived with her mother since birth, and now, at the age of 20, she refused to see her father.
According to Senior Advocate Nidhesh Gupta, who appeared for the appellant, the relationship between the father and daughter had “become acrimonious and unpleasant”.
In exercising its jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution, the SC declared the appellant and respondent’s two-decade-old marriage null and void on the grounds of “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”.
In terms of the daughter’s expenses, the SC ruled that she will not be entitled to any money for her education, the report stated.
As a result, the SC set the respondent’s permanent alimony, which is currently being paid at Rs 8,000 per month, as interim maintenance, at Rs 10 lakh in full and final settlement of all claims.