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Not “mercy” of father: Kerala HC says maintenance for child is substantive right; amount must reflect expenses [Read Order]

By Rintu Mariam Biju      07 March, 2024 04:00 PM      0 Comments
Not mercy of father Kerala HC says maintenance for child is substantive right amount must reflect expenses

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has held that right of children to maintenance is not “mercy of their father” but a substantive right. 

Stating that it is an invaluable right, Justice P Somarajan held that the maintenance amount must reflect the educational expenses, medical expenses and all other expenses connected with the livelihood of the child. 

“Right to get maintenance to a child born in the wedlock from the father is a substantive right, for which, the child cannot be termed as at the mercy of her father. But, it is her valuable right and the father is bound to maintain the child. It should reflect the amount required for the maintenance of the child inclusive of educational expenses, medical expenses and all other expenses connected with the livelihood”

Further, the Court held that ordering pittance by way of maintenance will not only defeat the valuable right, but also is a gross violation of entitlement for a decent living. 

“Ordering pittance by way of maintenance to the child will not only defeat the valuable right, but also amounts to gross violation of entitlement for a decent living. Court should be more cautious while ordering maintenance and it should reflect the amount required to meet both the ends together.”

These observations were made by the Court in a case where “mere pittance” of Rs. 2,500 was ordered to the 13-year-old child. At the time of passing of the order, she was aged around 5 to 6 years. Before the High Court, the claim was to increase the amount to Rs.6,000/- per month. The Court found this ask quite reasonable. 

“There is no reason to negate the said claim. On the other hand, the claim is found to be reasonable. Hence, the impugned order will stand modified by allowing Rs.6,000/- per month to the minor child from the date of petition”. 

Regarding maintenance for the wife, the Family Court ruled that she had sufficient means. Hence, her claim was disallowed by the trial court. However, nothing regarding this aspect was presented before the court, the judge said before concluding.  

 

[Read Order]



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Rintu Mariam Biju graduated from the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi after comp...Read more

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