'Unwed daughter can claim maintenance'

An unmarried daughter is entitled to claim maintenance from her father even after attaining the age of 18 if her parents are divorced or estranged, the Bombay High Court has ruled.

Also, a woman can file an application on behalf of her major daughter to seek maintenance, Justice Bharti Dangre ruled on Friday.

The high court was hearing a petition filed by a woman challenging the family court's order dismissing her application seeking maintenance from her estranged husband for the couple's 19-year-old daughter.

The couple's three children lived with the mother.

Till the time the children were minors, their father paid a monthly maintenance for each child to their mother.

However, after the daughter turned 18, the father refused to pay maintenance for her.

Her mother, in her petition, claimed that though her daughter had attained majority, she was still financially dependent on her as she was pursuing higher education.

The woman said her two sons were unale to help, as one of them was repaying his education loan and the other was yet to get a job.

The woman, who is getting a monthly maintenance of Rs 25,000, sought additional Rs 15,000 for the daughter. The family court rejected her plea, saying that under section 125 (1) (b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, maintenance is to be paid only for minors.

Justice Dangre ruled that as per the CrPC a major child is entitled for maintenance only if he or she is not able to maintain herself or himself due to any physical or mental problem.

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