The High Court of Delhi has said a father can’t be absolved of all the responsibilities to meet the education expenses of his son because he may have attained the age of majority.
Justice Subramonium Prasad said a father is bound to compensate the wife, who after spending on children, may hardly be left with anything to maintain herself.
The HC further said it cannot shut its eyes to the reality that simply attaining majority does not translate into the understanding that the major son is earning sufficiently.
In the Order, Justice Prasad said that “the husband must also carry the financial burden of making certain that his children are capable of attaining a position in society wherein they can sufficiently maintain themselves. The mother cannot be burdened with the entire expenditure on the education of her son just because he has completed 18 years of age...”
The HC further noted that it was true that in the majority of households, women are unable to work due to sociocultural as well as structural impediments, and, thus, cannot financially support themselves.
It said that “However, in households wherein the women are working & are earning sufficiently to maintain themselves, it does not automatically mean that the husband is absolved of his responsibility to provide sustenance for his children”.
It added that at the age of eighteen, it can be safely assumed that the son is either graduating from XII standard or is in his first year of college, & more often than not, it does not place him in a position wherein he can earn to sustain or maintain himself.
The Court said that the Supreme Court & other HC’s have, in a slew of judgements, upheld the maintenance allowance granted to a son post attaining majority on the ground that the father has a duty to finance basic education of the child & the child cannot be deprived of his right to be educated due to his parents getting divorced.