Sunday 30 March 2014

Meghalaya's living root bridge

My latest travel piece on Meghalaya's living root bridge in today's Kannada Prabha newspaper. Here's the link: 

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Eloped girl can't ask for father's FD: Court

NEW DELHI: If a woman defies the "family and societal norms" and elopes with someone, then her father can take back the money which he deposited in her account when she was a minor. This is what a trial court observed recently while deciding a monetary dispute between a father and daughter.

The father had moved the court against his daughter seeking a permanent injunction against the banks, directing them not to release the amount to the daughter on the date of its maturity. He said as his daughter had eloped with a relative, he didn't want the banks to allow her to withdraw the money.

Interestingly, additional district judge Vinod Yadav endorsed this view saying, "Till the time defendant No 1 (daughter) behaved in the manner a growing child is supposed to behave with her parents, he continued the defendant No 1 to have that amount in her account, but the moment she defied the family and societal norms and eloped with somebody in the family out of her own volition without the consent and permission of her parents...then, like any prudent father, he would feel cheated and betrayed and in that state he is not supposed to allow his hard-earned money to be siphoned off by an unfaithful child".

The man had opened a student's account for her daughter when she was a minor and deposited money at regular intervals. The girl had now attained majority. The bank with which the account was opened was also made a party in the case. During the trial, the bank submitted before the court that as per the banking norms, once a minor becomes major, the guardian or the person who had deposited the money in his or her account cannot claim it. However, the bank later submitted that it would honour the judgment.

The daughter's counsel opposed the plea saying even if the money was deposited by the father out of his own will, the said amount had to be treated as a gift to his daughter. "Like a person who gives gift to another person, he cannot turn around and start reclaiming the gift to be his own," the counsel said.

Not impressed with the arguments put forth by the daughter, the court said, "There being nothing on record to even remotely suggest that the said amount was deposited by the daughter in her account, the plaintiff (father) is entitled to the decree of declaration, as prayed for".

Discussing the "social aspect" of the case, the court said, "Our society is governed by certain moral norms, which by the passage of time have attained sanctity of law and one of such predominant norms is that the parents are supposed to give best comfort, consortium, education and stay to their children to the best of their capability and conversely the same is also the right of a child...but the responsibility of the parents and the right of the children... to have the same from their parents go hand-in-hand and cannot be vouchsafed independent of each other." 
  Source: ToI