Daughter’s Right To Claim Marriage Expenses Irrespective Of Religion: Court

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Kerala High Court on Tuesday observed that the right of an unmarried daughter to get reasonable expenses concerning her marriage from her father cannot have a religious shade.
The Division Bench comprising Justice Anil K Narendran and Justice PG Ajithkumar observed this while considering a question as to whether there is a provision entitling a Christian daughter to realize marriage expenses from the immovable property of her father or the profits therefrom.

The Court added, “It is the 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 right of an unmarried daughter to get marriage expenses from her father is 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.”

Court considered this question while considering petitions filed by two daughters residing with their mother, following the estranged marital relations between her and the respondent.

The petitioners submitted that the respondent had purchased the petition schedule property utilizing the fund raised by selling the gold ornaments of their mother and other financial help obtained from their mother and her family members, and a house was also built on the said property in which the respondent has been residing.

Subsequently, the petitioners filed an interlocutory application for an order of temporary injunction restraining the respondent from alienating or committing any act of waste in the petition schedule property.

It was averred that if the property is alienated, as the respondent was trying to do, or some acts of mischief are committed thereon, their right to realize the amount claimed in the original petition would be hampered. They also sought an order of attachment in this context. The Court said that no relief as regards educational expenses was sought.

The Court noted, “The petitioners had no claim over the petition schedule property, except a plea for the creation of a charge for the amount claimed towards their marriage expenses, and added that if they were so entitled to get a charge in the property, they could claim injunction against alienation and commission of acts of waste.”

“The petitioners are entitled to claim a charge on the immovable property of the respondent. An application for a temporary injunction against alienation would thus be legally sustainable. However, when the petitioners already have filed a petition for attachment of the same property of the respondent, there is no justification for the petitioner to claim the equitable relief of injunction prohibiting the respondent from alienating the property or committing acts of waste”, the Court observed.

The Court also noted that applying for an injunction and simultaneously an application for attachment of the property shows the intention of the petitioners. Their intention is not merely to secure their right to realize the money becomes due under the decree that may be passed in O.P. No. 87 of 2022 but to cause embarrassment and inconvenience to their father.

The Court further observed, “Although the counsels for the petitioners had claimed that the petitioners had sought for expenses in connection with their education as well, the pleadings revealed that the claim was with respect to marriage expenses alone.”

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