‘Father not liable to bear child’s education cost if not consulted’Updated: Oct 31, 2019, 23:48 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) recently held that if a father is not consulted about the education of his child, he is not liable to bear the entire cost of the same.
A division bench of justices Akil Kureshi and SJ Kathawalla passed the order while hearing an application filed by a woman, seeking directions to her divorced husband to pay ₹1.20 crore towards the education of their daughter in Australia.
However, the court said that as the husband was not consulted about her education, he should only pay ₹25 lakh. “When a ward is being sent for education abroad at a relatively young age, which entails considerable expenditure, the concurrence of both parents, particularly one who is expected to bear the expenditure thereof, would be necessary,” the HC said.
The bench, while hearing the civil application filed by the woman in a family court appeal, was told by advocates Abhijeet Sarwate and Ajinkya Udane that as per a family court order, the husband was paying maintenance of ₹30,000 and ₹20,000 each, for their two daughters. One of the daughters had been admitted to a five-year course in Australia in 2014, and the mother had mortgaged her flat to bear the cost. The advocates submitted that as the father was well-off, he should pay the ₹1.20 crore.
However, advocates Ashish Kamat and Ramchandra Yadav, representing the father, argued that while their client had been financially well-off in the past, he had withdrawn from active business and could not afford his daughter’s education. They submitted that the mother had taken a unilateral decision to send the daughter to Australia, without consulting their client, and so he cannot be asked to bear the cost.
“The applicant cannot take a unilateral decision of such magnitude and simply send the bill for the expenditure to the father,” the court said as it directed the father to pay ₹25 lakh towards his daughter’s education.