Father of a 11-month-old child cannot deny the responsibility of paying interim maintenance on the ground that he was denied visitation: Madras High Court

The Madras High Court passed a judgement on 22nd of December, 2022 in which it directed a father of a 11-month-old child to pay interim maintenance on time and that he cannot deny the responsibility by claiming that he was denied visitation. This was seen in the case of P. Geetha v. V. Kirubaharan (Tr.C.M.P.No.764 of 2022 and C.M.P.No.13069 of 2022) and the case was presided over by The Honourable Mr. Justice SM Subramanium


The petitioner and the respondent are parents of a 11-month-old child. The petitioner who is the mother had the child under her custody. The respondent, being the father was directed to pay interim maintenance of Rs.5,000 before the 10th of every month. The respondent however did not pay the interim maintenance. He claimed that he will take care of the child but because he was denied visitation, he was not going to pay the maintenance.


The learned single judge after listening to the contentions, directed the respondent to pay the required interim maintenance of Rs.5,000 before the 10th of every month. The court expressed that the respondent cannot deny responsibility while he is the natural guardian of the child and the only earning parent. The mother of the child is unemployed and thus cannot take care of the child or herself on her own.

The court moved on to set forth that the parents are duty bound to maintain and take care of their minor children. It referred to various provisions of the Constitution including Article 21, article 15(3) and Article 39 to support its judgement. Matrimonial disputes should not affect the child and their welfare is paramount.

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