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Court frowns on Mumbai man who can spend on car EMI, not daughter’s education

Bombay (Mumbai) - The High Court from afar wit...

Bombay (Mumbai) – The High Court from afar with Oval Maidan in the foreground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday questioned a Mumbai resident over his unwillingness to pay maintenance for his daughter, despite readily paying a substantial sum as EMI for his SUV car. “You are willing to pay Rs 16,000 as EMI for the car, but fighting over paying Rs 10,000 every month as maintenance for your daughter,” asked a division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai.The court dismissed a plea by Dr Rajesh Patil, a medical officer at a BMC hospital in the city, challenging a family court order directing him to pay Rs 10,000 as monthly maintenance to his 16-year-old daughter who lives with his former wife Seema Patil, an Ayurvedic doctor.

Rajesh insisted that since his wife was earning, she should share the burden. Seema’s lawyers pointed out that the annual expenses on the daughter were over Rs 4 lakh, which she was paying.

The court said the daughter was in Class XIII and there were “education costs and other living expenses” that would have to be incurred for her. “Is it surprising if the daughter does not want to meet you,” said the court, adding, “You should have come forward to pay the expenses.”

A family court in 2014 had increased the monthly maintenance amount for the daughter from Rs 2,500 to Rs 10,000, with a 15 per cent increase every year. During the hearing, the court indicated that it was inclined to dismiss the petition and gave the father the option to withdraw his plea.

Rajesh, while offering to increase the amount he was willing to pay to Rs 5,000-Rs 8,500, refused to withdraw his challenge.

Seema’s lawyers pointed out that Rajesh earns a monthly salary of Rs 90,000. It was also revealed that Rajesh had bought a popular SUV, and was shelling out an EMI of Rs 16,000. Rajesh claimed that he had bought the car for his elderly parents.

The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act says a Hindu father has to maintain his sons till they become adults, and daughters till the time they are married. The child has to be maintained even after attaining majority, if they are not able to maintain themselves out of their own earning.

(Names of the couple changed to protect their identities)

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