Chhattisgarh High Court recently held that an unmarried daughter can claim marriage expenses from parents under Hindu Adoptions & Maintenance Act.
A Division bench comprising Justice Goutam Bhaduri and Justice Sanjay S Agrawal noted that Section 3 (b) (ii) of the Hindu Adoptions & Maintenance Act includes marital expenditures in unambiguous terms.
“In Indian society, normally expenses are required to be incurred for pre-marriage and also at the time of marriage. A right was created and courts could not be in “denial mode” when such rights are claimed by unmarried daughters,” the High Court bench stated.
The Division Bench was hearing an appeal challenging a Family Court order. A family court in Durg had dismissed an application filed by an unmarried daughter claiming an amount of ₹25 Lakh for the purpose of marriage.
The appellant has claimed that her father had received ₹ 75 lakh after his retirement. Out of that amount, ₹25 lakh remained to be released as retiral dues.
She relied on the Madras High Court judgment in the case of R Durairaj v Seethalakshmi Ammal to mention that maintenance amount would include the expenses of marriage, and stated that the Family Court should not have dismissed the application.
Taking note of her submissions, the High Court bench discussed Section 20 (3) of the Act, which creates an obligation on a person to maintain his or her aged or infirm parent, or a daughter who is unmarried and unable to maintain themselves.
Noting that such a statutory attempt cannot be terminated at threshold, the bench set aside the family court order dated 22-02-2016.
“We accordingly set aside the order dated 22-02-2016 passed by the Principal Judge, Family Court, Durg and remand the matter to the learned Family Court for adjudication of the same on merits in the spirit of Section 3(b) (ii) of the Act of 1956,” the bench held.
The parties will now have to appear before family court on April 26.