A Division Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna was hearing a petition by a daughter, Lathika, demanding maintenance from her estranged father, Rao, following her mother’s death. She is a liability, the advocate for Rao declared during the hearing.
Quickly responding, Justice Chandrachud added that the lawyer should carefully review Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.
Lathika’s lawyer, who is representing her, informed the bench that the exam had already been taken and the results are awaited. Lathika was urged by Justice Chandrachud to concentrate on her career. He also asked her father to feel proud of his daughter.
“Ma’am, study hard now. Don’t depend on this man. You better study hard and do well for yourself, you should be proud of having a daughter like this, who is highly aspirant. You are only giving us complaints about her that she is not talking to me,” said Justice Chandrachud.
The lawyers were instructed by the court to resolve the issue of poor communication between the parties.
The Supreme Court ordered Rao to pay Rs 2,50,000 to Lathika and her mother on October 5, 2020, and to do so within two weeks. But on September 6, 2021, her mother passed away. The petitioner’s complaint was that there had been no payment made toward the maintenance arrears, which were Rs 8,000 per month for Lathika and Rs 400 for her mother.
Rao’s attorney informed the court that he had properly paid the maintenance arrears and had relied on the Union Bank of India’s financial reports.
“The respondent shall provide supporting documents and proof before the Registrar (Judicial). Likewise, the counsel for the petitioner would be at liberty to produce bank statements of the bank of the second petitioner certifying as to whether the payment has or had not been received. The report of the Registrar (Judicial) be prepared within a period of eight weeks,” the bench said before parting with the matter.