Can unmarried daughters claim expenses of marriage from their parents under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956? Chh HC addresses

Chhattisgarh High Court: While stating that, in Indian society, normally expenses are required to be incurred for pre-marriage and also at the time of marriage, the Division Bench of Goutam Bhaduri and Sanjay S. Agrawal, JJ., held that unmarried daughters have a right to claim expenses of marriage from their parents under the Hindu Adoptions & Maintenance Act, 1956.

Instant appeal was filed directing against the impugned order whereby the Family Court has dismissed the application under Section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 filed by the appellant.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court noted that an application under Section 18 of the Act of 1956 by the appellant would purport that an amount of Rs 25 lakh was claimed from the father predominately for her marriage.

Further, an amount was also claimed by the appellant from the Bhilai Steel Plant, wherein father of the appellant was working, to release an amount of Rs 25 lakhs in her favour.

Appellant’s allegation was that, after the retirement of the father he received Rs 75 lakhs and Rs 25 lakhs remained to be released as retiral dues and if the aforesaid remaining amount was released in her favour, in such a case, he would flee away.

Section 20 of the Act of 1956 speaks about the maintenance of children and aged parents. Sub section(3) of Section 20 of the Act of 1956 causes obligation of a person to maintain his or her aged or infirm parent or a daughter who is unmarried, as the case may be, is unable to maintain himself or herself out of his or her own earnings or other property.

Appellant who was an unmarried daughter had filed the application before the Family Court to release Rs 25 lakhs as one time settlement for the purpose of marriage and not daily food, clothing and residence.

Section 3(b)(ii) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 includes the reasonable expenses of marriage of daughter and expenses incident to her marriage.

Court expressed that,

a right is created to claim the expenses incident to marriage and the Courts also cannot be in denial mode, when such rights are claimed by unmarried daughters. 

In view of the above discussion, the matter was remanded to Family Court for adjudication of the same on merits in the spirit of Section 3(b) (ii) of the Act of 1956.[Rajeshwari v. Bhunu Ram, 2022 SCC OnLine Chh 583, decided on 21-3-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For Appellant: Shri T. K. Tiwari, Advocate

None for respondents, though served.

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