A 37-year-old divorced woman's plea seeking rights of residence, maintenance and protection from her father has been dismissed by a Delhi court which said that she was capable of earning her livelihood and it was not incumbent on a parent to look after a middle-aged daughter. District and Sessions Judge Ina Malhotra upheld the order of a magisterial court and dismissed the revision petition of the woman alleging that her 80-year-old father did not provide her education in her childhood, hence she was incapable of earning a living.
"I see no reason why an able-bodied person like the revisionist (woman) should drag her father to the court and claim maintenance without any legal enforceability. "It is not incumbent on a parent to look after his daughter, a middle-aged woman, at this stage of his life. On the contrary, it is for the children to look after the aged parents in their old age," the judge said. The court upheld the observation of the magistrate that the woman sought maintenance from her father, instead of her divorced husband. "There is no infirmity in the order of the magisterial court which has also observed that the woman has not asked for maintenance from her divorced husband but is enforcing it against her father who has no legal liability to maintain her.
The revision stands dismissed," it said, while also noting that the woman had studied till class 12. The woman, in her complaint, had alleged that her father had forced her to marry against her wishes and matrimonial differences cropped up between her and her husband. She left her husband and started living with her father in 2005 and sought divorce but her father allegedly fraudulently made her sign some documents making her believe that they were divorce papers, the plea said. The woman, who finally got divorce from her husband in 2012, alleged that her father was a drunkard and did not provide her education in her childhood because of which she was incapable of earning her livelihood.
The father, in his defence, had denied the allegations, including that of violence, and said that he was an old man who was surviving on pension money received from MCD. The woman had challenged the magistrate's order which had dismissed her complaint on the ground that her allegations were vague. It had also dismissed her submission of not being able to earn a living and said that there was no reason why she could not earn her own livelihood at least at the minimum wages prescribed by the Delhi government.