The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court recently ruled that both parents should be equally responsible for taking care of their children’s education expenses, after an 18-year-old approached the court, as he was finding it difficult to pay fees at IIT Dhanbad, where he has secured admission in the mechanical branch.
Parents in this case had been separated, even before the birth of the son in 2001. Since then, the child has been staying with his mother. They were officially divorced by mutual consent in July 2009.
The youngster scored 93% in Class X exam, and moved the high court, after he was finding it difficult to pay the fees of the course at IIT Dhanbad. Till now, his education and other expenses were shouldered by his mother, while his father used to pay him Rs 5,000 a month, as fixed by a court. The petitioner son now prayed for enhancing the maintenance to Rs 15,000, so that he could pay the college fees.
The petitioner (son) contended that his father, teacher at a zilla parishad school, did not bother to maintain him nor took care of his well-being, after his birth. On the other hand, his mother faced difficulties while bringing him up with her meagre salary, the petition said.
The father contended that he is unable to raise the maintenance amount, as he has to look after his old mother, divorced sister and her daughter.
Bombay High Court Nagpur Bench
A division bench comprising Justice Atul Chandurkar and Justice GN Sanap said,
Children must be the first priority of a parent in the matter of maintenance.
Adding further, the high court noted,
Before the petitioner’s birth in 2001, his parents had separated and he has been residing with mother. Both of his parents are serving as teachers, each earning a salary of over Rs 48,000. It is, therefore, apparent that both are equally responsible to share maintenance as well as education expenses of their son.
The bench even added,
Even if it is assumed, for the sake of argument, that there are some other persons dependent on the father, the child must be his first priority in the matter of maintenance. If he fails to share the maintenance and expenses, then the mother would be required to bear the unnecessary burden.
The high court subsequently enhanced the monthly maintenance from Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500, with effect from October 27, 2015, the date on which the student had filed the petition.
Sympathy with Adult Son
The judges observed,
It is seen that the petitioner, who happens to be a meritorious child, has been made to face this unfortunate situation. Considering his plight and needs, he was constrained to knock the judiciary’s doors.
- At the outset, we do believe that both parents must play their part equally, during separation and even after divorce
- However, where most often the children are raised in the custody of mother depriving fathers of access or any communication for years/decades, how fair is it to push equal/complete onus of financial responsibility on such fathers?
- Parties separated even before the birth of the child, therefore, the son has never seen his father and grown up only with one sided (often sob) stories of the separated mother
- In most cases, children are brainwashed by mother’s version of how the father deserted them, is earning well and have left them to perish
- However, what one does not realise is that there is a complete different version on the other side
- When Men’s Rights Activists demand Shared Parenting after divorce, the same system permits mere two hours in a fortnight/month where non-custodial parent (father) can see his child in the court premises. Here too, most women do not allow meetings without their presence due to their insecurities
- But when it comes to the money angle, suddenly fathers are reminded of their duty as a ‘responsible parent’
- Relationship between father and child has to be reciprocative and not one way street, especially when the child turns into an adult
- Our well designed Gender Biased Laws only aim at penalising the Men in the name of duties, while look the other way when they demand accountability for their rights as Men/Fathers
ALSO READ –
Wife Takes Maintenance From Husband Using Child As Tool | Stops Sending Her To School | Court Orders FIR On Mother
Estranged Parents Forfeit Interest Of Child For The Sake Of ‘Tactical Advantage’ In Ongoing Legal Battles
Ex-Wife Sends Bill Of Rs 1.20Cr As Education Expenses To Father, Who Was Never Consulted During Admission
ALSO WATCH –
Ashwini Upadhyay Wants Computerized Calculation For Maintenance To Women | Who Will Check Perjury?
Join our Facebook Group or follow us on social media by clicking on the icons below
Blogging about Equal Rights for Men or writing about Gender Biased Laws is often looked upon as controversial, as many 'perceive' it Anti-Women. Due to this grey area - where we demand Equality in the true sense for all genders - most brands distance themselves from advertising on a portal like ours.
We, therefore, look forward to your support as donors who understand our work and are willing to partner in this endeavour to spread this cause. Do support our work to counter one sided gender biased narratives in the media.
To make an instant donation, click on the "Donate Now" button above. For information regarding donation via Bank Transfer, click here.