Observing that both the parents should equally share their child’s educational expenses, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, earlier this month, ordered a man to look after his major son’s educational expenses. The court also hiked his monthly maintenance from Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500.
A bench of Justices Atul Chandurkar and Govind Sanap was hearing a petition filed by Sakshist Wankhede, challenging the orders of October 2015 passed by a family court ordering his father Pradeep to pay Rs 5,000 as maintenance to him. Sakshit is Pradeep’s only son.
Sakshist contended that the amount of monthly maintenance was meagre and needs to be enhanced. His father, however, claimed that the amount of maintenance was excessive and exorbitant.
As per the son's case, he was born in 2001 and before his birth his parents were living separately. After a protracted litigation, the couple dissolved their marriage in 2009.
The bench noted that Pradeep has not denied his liability to maintain his son. It further noted that his former wife has denied him the pleasure of his son's company and has allegedly filed a false complaint against him.
The bench further took into account the fact that both Pradeep and his estranged wife were serving as teachers and were drawing a salary of Rs 48,000 each.
While claiming that the amount of Rs 5,000 as maintenance was exorbitant, Pradeep pointed out that his old mother, his divorced sister and her daughter were also dependent on him for their maintenance and upkeep.
“Both the parents are serving as teachers. It is therefore, apparent that both are equally responsible to share the maintenance as well as the education expenses of Sakshist,” the judges observed, adding, “It is seen that the child, who happens to be a meritorious child, has been made to face this unfortunate situation.”
The judges further considered the fact that Sakshist has secured admission in IIT-Dhanbad (Mechanical) and is in his third year. “In our opinion, considering the facts and evidence, the grievance made by Pradeep that the quantum of maintenance is excessive and exorbitant cannot be accepted. Even if it is assumed for the sake of argument that there are some other persons dependent on him, his son must be the first priority in the matter of maintenance.”
Accordingly, the judges disposed of the plea ordering Pradeep to not only pay the hiked maintenance amount but also to pay for his educational expenses.
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