Prayagraj | The Allahabad High Court has ruled that an unmarried daughter, irrespective of her religion or age, has the right to obtain maintenance from their parents under the Domestic Violence Act.
The high court made the observation while dismissing a petition filed by Naimullah Sheikh and another under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. The parents of three daughters had challenged a lower court's order grating maintenance to them.
"There remains no doubt that an unmarried daughter, whether Hindu or Muslim, has a right to obtain maintenance, irrespective of her age. This is made clear again that the courts have to look for other laws applicable when the question pertains to the right to be maintained. However, where the issue does not pertain to mere maintenance, the independent rights are available to an aggrieved under section 20 of the domestic violence act itself," Justice Jyotsna Sharma observed.
The three daughters had filed a case in a court claiming maintenance under the Act, alleging mistreatment by their father and stepmother. The trial court ordered interim maintenance, which was challenged by the respondents arguing that the daughters were adults and financially independent.
In the decision dated January 10, the high court rejected the petitioners' argument that the daughters, being majors, cannot claim maintenance.
The court emphasised that the Domestic Violence (DV) Act aims to provide more effective protection to women. It further added that the substantive right to receive maintenance may emanate from other laws, however, quick and shorter procedure to obtain the same has been provided in the 2005 Act.
It was submitted on behalf of the petitioners that the learned court below failed to consider the fact that their father is an old and infirm person having no source of income and that he has already been maintaining the respondents and that the application for grant of maintenance under the DV Act, was filed at the behest of their maternal uncle.