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Allahabad High Court directs father to deposit Rs 10 lakh as maintenance to unmarried daughter

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The Supreme Court heard a plea of Balmukund Tiwari, father of Roshni Tiwari as he was directed by the High Court of Allahabad to deposit Rs 10 lakh by Demand Drafts in two installments to her daughter as maintenance. 

The two-Judge Bench of Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Krishna Murari issued notice, subject to the condition on the payment of Rs three lakh before the trial court and further stayed the execution petition filed by Roshni Tiwari before the civil court.

Advocate Zahid Ali appeared for petitioner Balmukund Tiwari, father of respondent Roshni Tiwari. He submitted before the bench the judgment of ‘Rajneesh v. Neha and Anr’ passed by the apex court on payment of interim maintenance and covering other aspects related to maintenance.

To which, J. Nazeer submits – First, we will hear the facts of the case and later the judgment that was referred.

J. Nazeer submits – You are bound to give maintenance, it’s in the statutory provision of the Act.

Further Petitioner Balmukund Tiwari referred to prayer of the application of Roshni Tiwari seeking expenses towards performance of her marriage from her father under the statute. The counsel Zahid ali also mentioned about the order passed by the Allahabad High Court that the court has directed to pay 10 lacs as an marriage expense. 

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J. Nazeer submits that Roshni Tiwari is not pressing her application for maintenance. 

J. Nazeer submits- You deposit 5 lacs, we will issue notice then. You take whatever time you need.

Petitioner Balmukund submits – Something lesser than 5 lacs, my lord.

The Division bench of J. Sunita Agarwal and J. Krishan Pahal set aside the order passed by Family Court observing the fact that demand of Rs. 10 Lacs towards marriage expenses in the current scenario when the appellant is aged about 27-28 years cannot be said to unjustified. 

On the maintainability of application of Roshni Tiwari, the High Court conjointly read section 3(b) and section 20(3) of Act, 1956 an unmarried daughter is entitled for maintenance from her parents till she is unmarried, in case, she is unable to maintain herself out of her own earnings or other property. 

The maintenance includes reasonable expenses and incident to her marriage apart from food, clothing, residence, education and medical attendance and treatment. The obligation cast under Section 20 of the Act, 1956 is on both the parents, as observed by J. Krishan Pahal and J. Sunita Aggarwal of Allahabad High Court.

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Another finding of the High court was that family court while rejecting the application u/s 20(3) of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act,1956, simply ignored the fact that Roshni Tiwari had incurred all expenditures onwards her education, inpursuing nursing course and at no point of time, during the entire period, till and after she attained majority, her education and living expenses were borne by the father. Also , Roshani Tiwari had right to claim expenses towards performance of her marriage from her father under the act.

Roshni Tiwari appealed before the Allahabad High court against the rejection order of the application filed by her under section 20(3) of Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act,1956 sought maintenance from her father.

In the said application, she had claimed maintenance on two grounds; firstly that she had been doing nursing course and her mother had incurred huge expenditures ineducating her. She was paying Rs. 3500/- per month towards fee and there was no other source of income.  Another ground, Roshni sought that she needs money for her marriage as an expense since her father is no taking her responsibility of marriage. 

Counsel for Roshni Tiwari submits before Allahabad High court that the finances were initially arranged by her mother and now by herself for Nursing course and pursued a Post Basic Nursing Training Course from college at Bhopal. Her father had not even paid basic education expense. A sum of Rs.1000/- per month was being given towards maintenance states Roshni Tiwari before Allahabad High Court. 

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Counsel for Balmukund contends before the High Court of Allahabad that Roshni Tiwari is self sufficient as she has started earning after completion of Staff Nursing Course.  

The position and status of Balmukund Tiwari is that he is in government department and working as Tube well operator in Irrigation Department, contends Balmukund Tiwari before Allahabad High Court.

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