Father who is willing to pay maintenance for his daughter is also entitled to visitation rights

Delhi High Court: While disposing off an appeal wherein an order granting appellant’s wife a monthly maintenance of Rs. 25,000 under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and similar amount towards education and maintenance of his daughter was challenged, the Division Bench comprising of Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani, JJ. refused to interfere with the order, however it added that a father who is ready and willing to pay maintenance for his daughter is also entitled to see her at least on festivals, her birthday or at regular intervals.

Challenging the order, the appellant has claimed that he earns only Rs. 10,000 per month and his parents support him, whereas his wife belongs to a very rich family which owned a bungalow in Lokhandwala, a flat in Bandra, a bungalow in Swarup Nagar, Kanpur, a petrol pump and two warehouses in Lucknow and Mumbai. The wife admitted to the ownership of a flat in Bandra, Mumbai in the name of her mother and claimed that she had no share therein. She denied any other property being owned by either her mother or herself. Her father had died; there were no other siblings.

The Court observed that the husband had given no particulars of the bungalow in Lokhandwala or in Swarup Nagar, Kanpur nor of the petrol pump and two warehouses in Lucknow and Mumbai. It also noted that the family of the appellant was well off which resided in a 1000 sq yd house in Rajouri Garden and owned four luxury cars. The Court thus concluded that the husband was lying regarding his income and therefore refused to interfere with the order. However, taking into account his willingness to pay maintenance for his daughter, the Court permitted the appellant to visit his daughter at her boarding school on her birthday, festivals or once in three months. [Manpreet Singh Bhatia v. Sumita Bhatia, 2016 SCC OnLine Del 5598, decided on October 20, 2016]

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