Father refusing to pay maintenance for child cannot be tolerated: HC

The petitioner sought direction to transfer the marriage dissolution petition from the Poonamallee sub-court to the file of the family court at Tiruchirappalli.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: Holding that remedy of maintenance is the measure of social justice as envisaged under the constitution to prevent the wife and the children from falling into destitution and vagrancy, the Madras High Court ruled that it will never tolerate a father who refuses to pay maintenance to his child.

"When the livelihood, lifestyle, or education of the children is in question, then the Courts must act as a custodian of minor child/children and award interim maintenance to protect the interest of the minor children, " Justice SM Subramaniam held, adding, "Grandparents are burdened with their minor children and the fathers of those minor children are the earning members and escaping from the clutches of their liability, which cannot be tolerated by the Courts."

The judge made these observations on allowing a petition filed by one Kavitha.

The petitioner sought direction to transfer the marriage dissolution petition from the Poonamallee sub-court to the file of the family court at Tiruchirappalli.

She claimed that she had an 11-month-old girl child and was unable to often visit Poonamallee for the case proceedings.

She also noted that she is unemployed and her parents are taking care of her and her child. The petitioner noted that her husband filed the divorce petition and he did not provide any maintenance to her child.

Recording the submissions, the judge further stated that Fathers are duty-bound to maintain the minor child/ children when there is a matrimonial dispute between the spouses. Since the respondent said that he was not allowed to visit the child, the judge stated that denial of visitation rights is not a ground to grant exemption from the payment of maintenance.

He ordered the petitioner's husband to pay Rs 5000 to the minor female child, who is now living with the petitioner-mother for the purpose of maintenance from December 2022 onwards.

The court also passed orders to transfer the case from the Poonamallee sub-court to the Trichy family court.

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