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Dad who pays maintenance also entitled to meet daughter: HC

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A father, who is ready and willing to pay maintenance for his daughter, is also entitled to visit her at least on her birthday or at regular interval, the Delhi High Court observed while permitting a man to meet the child in school.

The court allowed the man, who claimed that he had not met his 12-year-old daughter for the last three years, to visit the child in her school at Lonavala in Maharashtra on her birthday, festivals or once in three months.

“Though this is not a petition concerning the visitation rights of the parties, a father who is ready and willing to pay maintenance for his daughter is also entitled to see his daughter at least on festivals, her birthday or at regular interval,” a bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani said in its verdict.

The court said this while dealing with a petition filed by the man, a resident of Delhi, challenging an order directing him to pay a monthly alimony of Rs. 25,000 to his estranged wife. He was also asked to pay Rs. 25,000 per month for education and maintenance of the child.

The man, who had not challenged the direction to pay the amount for his child, also told the court that he should be allowed to meet his daughter.

He claimed before the court that he was earning Rs. 10,000 per month and his wife belonged to a very rich family which owns various properties, including a flat in Bandra and a bungalow in Lokhandwala in Mumbai.

The woman had claimed that she has no shares in the flat in Bandra as it was in the name of her mother. She also denied that she was having any other property in her name.

In its verdict, the bench said that keeping in view the “luxurious life style in which he lives, evinced by the four luxury cars maintained by his family”, the order directing the man to pay Rs. 25,000 monthly maintenance to his wife “needs no interference”.

“A spouse unable to maintain himself/herself is entitled to maintenance on the principle of equi-status and respect that the spouse would have enjoyed if he/she continued to live with other spouse,” the bench noted.

“We, therefore, permit the appellant (man) to visit his daughter at Lonavala and meet her in her school. Necessary instructions in this regard shall be given by the respondent (wife) to the principal of the school to enable the appellant to meet his daughter on her birthday, festivals or once in three months,” the bench said.

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