The division bench of Justice Anil K Narendran and Justice PG Ajit Kumar of Kerala High Court held that it is a right of every unmarried daughter to get marriage expense from her father irrespective of her religion and cannot be given such right as religious shade.
The petition was filed by the two unmarried daughters before the high court challenging the common order of the family court contending that the status of the parties were not taken into consideration while fixing amount of Rs 7,50,000 lakh to meet the expenses of the marriages.
The family court held that the petitioners were entitled to claim only minimum required expenses for the marriage and thus the amount of Rs 7,50,000 would be enough to protect their interest.
The petitioners also sought a temporary injunction restraining the respondent- father from alienating or committing any act of waste in the petition schedule property.
The petitioners contended that the respondent-father purchased the property utilizing the fund raised by selling the ornaments of their mother and other financial help obtained from her mother’s family member.
It is also contented by the petitioners that both the petitioners are pursuing higher studies which involves huge expenditure and the respondent-father never help them through the expense incurred.
The advocate for the respondent argued that the petitioners and petitioner’s mother-respondent wife are followers of the Christian Pentecost and as per the customary rites the members belonging to the community doesn’t have the habit of using any ornaments like gold, silver etc. And, therefore, the expenses for the said ornaments incurred for marriages would not exist in this case.
The question then raised by the court that “Is there any provision entitling a Christian daughter to realize marriage expenses from the immovable property of her father or profits therefrom”
Then the bench came with the view that “The right of an unmarried daughter to get reasonable expenses concerning her marriage from her father cannot have a religious shade. It is a right of every unmarried daughter irrespective of her religion. There cannot be a discriminatory exclusion from claiming such a right based on one’s religion”.
The bench also added that “Under Section 39 of the Transfer of Property Act, any person having a right to receive maintenance, or a provision for advancement or marriage, from the profits of immovable property, that claim can be enforced against the immovable property of the person obliged. The right of an unmarried daughter to get marriage expenses from his father is now a legal right. By taking an analogy from the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act that right, irrespective of religion can be enforced against the profits from the immovable property of the father. When the petitioners are thus entitled to claim a charge on the immovable property of the respondent who is their father the relief of creation of a charge on the petition schedule property, which belongs to the respondent, is tenable. In that view of the matter, an application for a temporary injunction against alienation is legally sustainable.
The bench decided that an attachment to secure an amount of Rs 15 lakh would be sufficient to protect the interest of the petitioner-daughter.