Wife’s entitlement to adduce necessary proof in support of her pleadings not to be grudged: Delhi HC

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of R.K. Gauba, JJ. dismissed a petition filed by the petitioner-husband invoking inherent powers of the Court under Section 482 CrPC to assail the order of the first appellate court.

The facts of the matter were that the respondent-wife had filed a case against the husband and his parents under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. He sought various reliefs including protection orders under Section 18 and an order as to right to residence under Section 19 besides other monetary reliefs. As to the residential house which was in question, the husband challenged the claim of the wife on the ground that the said residential house was his father’s property. On the issue of the wife’s interest in the said property, the Magistrate accepted husband’s submission. The wife, thereafter, moved an application under Section 91 CrPC before the Magistrate asserting that the husband made false representations. She prayed for the summoning of certain relevant documents that would show that the said property was transferred in a clandestine manner only to defeat her rights. Pursuant thereto, the husband was directed to file an affidavit disclosing his bank account details along with account statements. The husband approached the Sessions Court against the order of the Magistrate on the contention that the Magistrate had found against the wife on the issue of her interest in the said property. However, his appeal was dismissed. Aggrieved thereby, the instant petition was filed.

The High Court, on consideration of facts, noted that any interim order was denied to the wife by the Magistrate as well as the first appellate court. It was observed that the wife having been denied any interim order could not be deprived of the right to prove her case by leading evidence so as to demolish and discredit the defence set up vis-a-vis the said property. It was her contention that the property was acquired by the husband availing of his own resources, though in the name of the father and, therefore, benami. It was her burden to prove her contention in such regard. In such circumstances, the Court held that her right to bring requisite evidence, by having the necessary records summoned with the assistance of the court, could not be taken away. The High Court found no error in the reasoning of the Session Court which held that order of the Magistrate was purely a procedural order which did not decide or determine the rights or liabilities of the parties. In view of the aforesaid, the petition filed by the husband was dismissed. [Dinesh Kumar v. Ruchi Ahuja,2018 SCC OnLine Del 11973, decided on 03-10-2018]

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