Daughter entitled to maintenance until married?

In this particular judgement, the Punjab and Haryana High Court tackled two questions of importance:


  1. Whether the plaintiff-appellant (an unmarried daughter) is entitled to the grant of maintenance till she gets married, as required under Section 21 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956

Answering this particular question, the court was of the opinion that a unmarried daughter is entitled to maintenance from both father and mother:

As regards substantial question No.1 mentioned above,Section 21of the Act is not attracted because it applies to dependants of a deceased Hindu who are entitled to maintenance out of estate of the deceased Hindu underSection 22of the Act. However, underSection 20(2)of the Act, every minor child, legitimate or illegitimate, can claim maintenance from his or her father or mother so long as the child is minor. Further, according toSection 20(3)of the Act, the obligation of a person to maintain his or her aged or infirm parent or a daughter who is unmarried extends so far as the parent or unmarried daughter is unable to maintain himself or herself. Reading both these provisions together, it emerges that a male child is entitled to maintenance till attaining the age of majority whereas female child is entitled to maintenance till attaining the age of majority or till getting married whichever is later. Substantial question of law No.1 mentioned as above is answered accordingly.


2. Whether the mother and the father were obliged to give maintenance amount to the plaintiff proportionate to their income ?

Answering this question by citing the judgement by Padma Sharma versus Ratan Lal Sharma, 2000(2) RCR (Civil), 590, laying down that both parents of a child are liable to contribute to maintenance of the child in proportionate of their salaries (income). Consequently substantial question of law No.2 framed herein is answered holding that both the parents are obliged to give maintenance in proportion to their income.


The appeal of the father was thereby dismissed by the High Court.


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