The Kerala High Court has observed that only the minimum amount required for conducting a simple marriage function can be claimed by a daughter as 'marriage expenses' from her parent.
Two daughters had approached family court seeking past and future maintenance, educational expenses and marriage expenses, from their father. One daughter had claimed Rs.15 lakhs towards marriage expenses and the other claimed Rs.20, 000 per month as educational expenses, including hostel expenses. Though maintenance was ordered, the court dismissed other claims. They challenged the order before the high court.
The bench comprising Justice AM Shaffique and Justice AM Babu noted that a father has the obligation to maintain his daughters who are not capable of looking after themselves and his obligation continues even after them attaining majority.
Examining the claim towards marriage expenses, the bench noticed that the daughter had married a person of her own choice and it was a registered marriage. Observing that the claim made is unreasonable, the bench said: "Expenses for marriage can be claimed only in instances where any expense has been incurred for the marriage. Of course, even before marriage, a claim can be made taking into account the probable marriage expenditure. The expenditure to be incurred for such marriages depends upon the facts and circumstance of each case. At any rate, exorbitant amounts cannot be claimed towards marriage expenses. Marriages can be conducted in a simple form and one can even conduct a luxurious marriage. But while claiming marriage expenses, one can expect only the minimum amount required for conducting a simple marriage function."
The court also said huge claim made by the other daughter towards education expenses is also unreasonable. The bench said: "Even if educational expenditure are to be met, only reasonable amounts can be sought. If a person decides to go abroad and continue his/her studies, is it that the parents should be mulcted with such a huge liability?"
Upholding the family court order, the bench observed that the claims were exorbitant and not in consonance with the scheme of things and there was no evidence to prove that the father had the financial capacity to pay such huge amounts. The court also observed that if the mother is also an earning member, the liability to maintain the children rests with both the parties.
Read the Judgment Here