SC orders father to give allowance to son till he gets his degree, not just till he is 18
New Delhi, Mar 05: The Supreme Court has directed a man to support his son financially not only till he turns 18, but till he completed his degree course. Graduation is considered as basic education, the court said.
A Bench comprising Justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and M R Shah ordered the man to pay for son's education till March 31 2021 to ensure that he has necessary financial support to complete his graduation.
While modifying the order of the family court, the Bench said, "paying only till he turns 18 will not be sufficient in present times when the first basic degree comes only after one completes his college. You (the man) should pay for his education, at least till he gets his first formal degree from a college."
The family court in its order passed in September 2017 directed the man to pay Rs 20,000 per month towards the maintenance of his son from his first marriage till he turned 18. The boy was born in March 2004 and the couple had got married in 1999.
Employed in the Karnataka health department, the man separated from his first wife after their divorce in 2005. The family court at Bagalkot fixed the maintenance for the child at Rs 20,000 per month. The order was upheld by the High Court in 2019, following which he moved the Supreme Court.
In the SC, he contended that his salary was a little over Rs 20,000 and since he married again and had two children, paying Rs 20,000 to the son from the first marriage will leave him with virtually nothing to maintain his new family. He said that he had separated from the first wife as she was in an adulterous relationship.
The Bench however said, "you cannot punish the child for this. What does the child have to do all this? And when you married again, you must have known you already have a child that you need to support."
The counsel for the first wife said it would be appropriate if he paid less every month, but not only till the son turned 18, but till he completed his graduation. The Bench said that the suggestion was fair and reduced the monthly maintenance to Rs 10,000 every month starting March 1 2021.