Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, J. dismissed a review application filed by the petitioner-husband for review of this Court’s order in a matrimonial case (pertaining to restitution of conjugal rights) whereby a direction was given to transfer records of the said case from this Court to the Family Court at Muzaffarpur (where the respondent-wife had filed a maintenance case against petitioner).

Counsel for the petitioner, Vivekanand Prasad Singh submitted that while passing the impugned order, this Court was not properly assisted by the appearing for petitioner earlier and that no contention was raised at the bar on behalf of the petitioner. It was submitted that the petitioner was presently posted at Mumbai and while it would be convenient for him to visit Patna on the date fixed in the matter, if he is required to go Muzaffarpur he would be required to take one additional leave.

Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent, Arvind Kumar Pandey and  Jitendra Prasad Singh, objected stating that the impugned order had been passed in the interest of both parties for the restoration of their conjugal rights.

The Court noted that the respondent had a one-year-old daughter and had no male member in the family to accompany her to visit this Court for hearings in the matrimonial case. Petitioner had himself filed a case for restitution of conjugal rights and during the course of arguments, it was understood that the respondent was ready to receive him at her place with an intention to restore conjugal rights. Thus, this Court had considered it just and proper to transfer the records of the matrimonial case to the Court at Muzaffarpur with the view that if the petitioner visits Muzaffarpur where respondent-wife was residing with her parents, there was every possibility of restitution of conjugal rights. No opposition was recorded on behalf of the petitioner in the impugned order.

It was observed that if it was the petitioner’s intention to restore his relationship, the plea regarding requirement one additional leave for visiting Muzaffarpur could not be said to be a bona fide plea, especially in view of the hardships being faced by the wife.

The Court noted that the present review application had been filed by a change of lawyer, but no affidavit was filed showing the reason which necessitated a change of lawyer. It was observed that while considering a review application, it is important to see if an error has occurred because of mistake of the Court or for any other reason which is likely to cause injustice to a party, and correct the same. But a review filed merely because of change of lawyer must not be generally allowed. Reliance in this regard was placed on Rotary Club, Begusarai v. State of Bihar, 2000 SCC OnLine Pat 892 where the practice of filing review petition due to change of was deprecated.

In view of the above, it was held that no injustice had been caused to the petitioner by the impugned order.[Rishi Kesh Kumar v. Minakshi Kumari, Miscellaneous Jurisdiction Case No. 1762 of 2017, decided on 30-04-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Tripura High Court: A Bench of Sanjay Karol, CJ and Arindam Lodh, J. allowed an appeal filed by the appellant-wife against the judgment passed by the Family Judge whereby she was directed to return to her matrimonial home.

The respondent-husband had filed a suit for restitution of conjugal rights under Section 281 of the Mohammedan Law. He stated that the parties got married according to Islamic rites and customs. It was alleged that after a few days, the wife started quarrelling with him and always preferred to live with her parents. It was alleged that she left the matrimonial home in 15-9-2017 without any reason and information and also took away her articles. Efforts were made to bring her back, but she did not return. Hence, he instituted the suit for restitution of conjugal rights. The family court passed the ex-parte impugned order whereby the wife was directed to return to the house of her husband.

R. Purakayastha, Advocate appeared for the wife. According to the memo of appeal, the wife was a very poor lady. After filing her written statement, she prayed for appointing a legal aid counsel. But unfortunately, she prayed for appointing a legal aid counsel. But unfortunately, the Family Judge neither allowed nor rejected her prayer. It was submitted that since she was a lady of little learning she could not take any step with the case.

The High Court observed it as well settled that “justice is not only to be done, but it is manifest to be done.” The wife being a poor woman sought for a legal aid counsel. According to the Court, the Family Judge ought to have afforded all opportunities to he so she could take part in the proceedings before the family court. The Court held it to be a fit case to remand the matter back to the family court for the fair trial of the case. Accordingly, the appeal. was allowed and the impugned judgment was set aside. [Salma Begam v. Saiful Ali, 2019 SCC OnLine Tri 77, decided on 05-03-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: The Bench comprising of V.K. Jadhav, J., while pronouncing an order stated that, “if the wife is not comfortable because of the approach and attitude of the parents of her husband and the treatment given to her by them, and if she resides with her parents because of the said reason, in my considered opinion, the wife has just cause to live separate and demand maintenance.”

As per the facts of the case, the applicant husband stated that the respondent-wife lived with him for 5 to 6 months since the time of marriage and left his house thereafter. She used to quarrel with the parents, the brother and the sister of the applicant-husband. Lastly, respondent-wife left his house and started residing with her parents. It has been further stated that applicant is young and needs her company and accordingly, he filed the application for restitution of conjugal rights.

Respondent-wife stated that applicant-husband’s mother used to ill-treat her and beat her, applicant also used to beat her on the say of his mother. She further stated that she was ready to join his company if he keeps her separate and executes an undertaking for giving good treatment to her as she apprehends danger to her life. Respondent-wife also filed an application for grant of maintenance under Section 125 CrPC.

Thus, the High Court on observing the given contentions by the parties and noting the situation prevailing in the present case stated that, “In the changing scenario of the lifestyle and considering the developing concept of nuclear family, importance is required to be given to the wishes of the wife.”

As in regard to the husband’s contention that wife had no just cause to live with her parents as the relationship between them was cordial, for the stated contention the Court stated that, If wife is not comfortable because of the parents of her husband and the treatment given to her by them, and if she resides with her parents because of the said reason, wife has just cause to live separate and demand maintenance.”

Therefore, the Court found no mistake in the judgment and order passed by the judge of the family court rejecting application filed by applicant-husband seeking restitution of conjugal rights and the maintenance of Rs 700 per month as decided by the learned Judge of the Family Court is rightly stated and there is no interference required. [Shaikh Basid v. State of Maharashtra, 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 220, Order dated 06-02-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: A Division Bench comprising of C.T. Selvam and S. Ramathilagam, JJ. ordered parole of two weeks to a life-convict in light of exercising his conjugal rights.

In the present case, the petitioner is the wife of the life convict, who sought leave for her husband for the purpose of the exercise of conjugal rights. Petitioner’s husband is an undertrial prisoner and is a convict under two cases, on the file of Principal District and Sessions Court, Pudukottai, jail authorities are said to be precluded from granting leave to detenu under Section 35 of Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules, 1982.

While placing reliance on the decision of Madras High Court, Madurai Bench in Meharaj v. State, 2018 1 HCC (Mad) 150 in which it was stated that:

“Conjugal visit leads to strong family bonds and keep the family functional rather than the family becoming dysfunctional due to prolonged isolation and lack of sexual contact.”;

the High Court considered the above-stated decision to be appropriate and concluded to grant leave to the petitioner’s husband for the purpose of conjugal visit for a period of two weeks subject to certain conditions. [P. Muthumari v. Home Secretary,2018 SCC OnLine Mad 3304, dated 26-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: The Single Judge Bench comprising of M.V. Muralidaran J., held that “If the husband is healthy, able-bodied and in a position to support himself, he is under the obligation to support his wife under Section 125 CrPC, for wife’s right to receive maintenance under the Section, unless disqualified, is an absolute right.”

The petition for divorce was first filed by the husband/petitioner subsequently followed by a petition by the wife seeking restitution of conjugal rights and while these petitions were still pending, the wife of the petitioner filed another petition seeking interim maintenance for which the petitioner was asked to pay Rs. 16,000/- per month to the respondent/wife.

The petitioner in his submission stated that he was unemployed and was living under the shadow of his father which makes him incapable of providing such huge amount of interim maintenance. But for the same stated issue the respondent/wife contended that it was the husband’s duty to maintain his wife/child with the provision of all the basic needs, and also the contention of the petitioner is incorrect as he runs his own business.

The Hon’ble High Court, on noting all the facts and circumstances stated that it is the obligation of the husband to maintain his wife and he cannot be permitted to plead that he is unable to maintain his wife due to financial constraints as long as he is capable of earning. Therefore, the Criminal Revision was partly allowed by reducing the sum of interim maintenance to Rs. 10,000/- per month by directing the Family Court judge to dispose of the petition without giving any further adjournment. [Vishnuprasad v. Vishnupriya,  2018 SCC OnLine Mad 1306, dated 11-04-2018]