‘Child must be first priority for maintenance': High Court

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‘Child must be first priority for maintenance’: High Court
© Provided by Hindustan Times Image for representation. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

For a person, his own child must be the first priority when it comes to maintenance, said Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on Wednesday while rejecting the appeal filed by a Nagpur-based school teacher questioning local family court’s order directing him to pay Rs. 5,000 per month to his son towards maintenance.

The school teacher moved the high court challenging the family court order of January 9, 2019, directing him to pay 5,000 per month to his son, a student of IIT Dhanbad. His son also moved HC for enhancement in the maintenance awarded by the family court, claiming that it was too meagre to meet even his basic requirements.

The school teacher challenged the maintenance order primarily contending that the family court did not take the factual aspects into consideration. Maintaining that he was sharing his son’s educational expenses although he was not granted access to him, the father contended that while his son was fully supported by his mother, also a school teacher, his aged mother, divorcee sister and her daughter were completely dependent on him.

The HC, however, refused to accept the contention and held that the son must be the first priority for the father when it comes to maintenance.

“Even if it is assumed for the sake of argument that there are some other persons dependent on him (father), the petitioner (son) must be the first priority of the respondent in the matter of maintenance,” said the division bench of justice AS Chandurkar and justice GA Sanap.

The bench accepted the son’s argument that the amount of 5,000 per month was meagre and was required to be enhanced considering the fact that the son was studying in a different city and enhanced the maintenance amount to Rs. 7,500 per month.

The court has directed the father to pay the enhanced amount from October 27, 2015 – the day the son filed a plea for the maintenance of 15,000 per month before the family court at Nagpur – and clear the arrears in three months.

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