Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Petitioner preferred this civil revision before a Single Judge Bench of Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava, J., under Section 115 of Civil Procedure Code, against the order passed by 3rd Civil Judge, Class-II, whereby the objection raised by the petitioner under Section 47 read with Section 151 was rejected.

Facts of the case were such that respondent had purchased a shop which is in question, from a person Khusro who is the power of attorney holder of late Jahan. It was alleged that petitioner occupied the shop and failed to pay rent to respondent to whom the shop actually belong by virtue of a sale deed. Petitioner had submitted that they have no relation with the respondent and all the construction done on the shop had been done by them. Trial Court affirmed eviction of petitioner from the shop in question. Later an execution case was filed which was objected under Section 47 read with Section 151 praying for stay of the execution proceedings but the same was denied. Hence, this revision. Petitioner contended that the executing Court should have allowed petitioner to give evidence in order to substantiate and prove his objection, therefore, the impugned order was bad in law and should be set aside.

High Court was of the view that this revision petition should be dismissed. On the basis of facts and circumstances of the case, it was found that decree of eviction was affirmed by the first appellate Court and second appellate Court. The objection raised were not sustainable due to the well-settled principle that Executing Court cannot go beyond the decree. Therefore, this revision petition was dismissed. [Mohasin Ulla Khan v. Nabila Rahil, 2018 SCC OnLine MP 949, Order dated 13-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: This appeal was preferred before a 2-Judge Bench of Rakesh Kumar and  Anupinder Singh, JJ., against the judgment and decree passed by the Additional District Judge by which petition filed under Sections 11 and 12 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 by the respondent-husband for annulment of marriage with the appellant-wife was allowed.

During the pendency of this appeal, the appellant filed an application for maintenance pendente lite under Section 24 of the Act. The above application was allowed and thereby the respondent was supposed to pay Rs. 5,000 per month towards maintenance pendente lite. But since respondent failed to do so he was directed to pay entire arrears of maintenance pendente elite. The only contention made by respondent for non-payment of maintenance was that he did not have any money to give. High Court struck off respondent’s only defence leaving with the issue that if the respondent has no defence can the judgment and decree passed by the trial Court sustain or is to be set aside.

High Court struck off the defence of respondent on the ground of non-payment of maintenance, that he wanted annulment of marriage on the ground that appellant had already married twice and marriage with respondent was her third marriage with previous marriage subsisting. Thus, there remained no defence on record for annulment of marriage. Therefore, this appeal was allowed and judgment and decree passed by trial court was set aside. [Sonia v. Deepak, 2018 SCC OnLine P&H 2024, decided on 04-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: A Division bench comprising of C.K. Abdul Rehim and R. Narayana Pisharadi, JJ. allowed an appeal against the judgment of Family Court for the said court’s failure in conducting a proper enquiry and for failure in recording satisfaction based on such an enquiry conducted.

The appellant and respondent had jointly filed a petition for dissolution of their marriage by mutual consent Section 10A of the Divorce Act, 1869. The petition was allowed and respondent was granted permanent custody of their minor children. The appellant-wife challenged the said decree on the ground of court’s non-compliance to the mandatory procedural formality of interregnum waiting period.

The primary question for the determination of the court was as to whether a decree granting divorce by mutual consent can be challenged in an appeal filed under Section 19 of the Family Courts Act, 1984.

The Court observed that a decree under Section 13 B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 is passed on the Court being satisfied that certain circumstances exist and certain conditions are fulfilled. Such a decree is not a decree passed merely on consent, but on the court being satisfied with the existence of those conditions. Relying on the decision of Gujarat High Court in Jyoti v. Darshan Nirmal Jain, 2012 SCC OnLine Guj 6283 it was held that in the present case since the lower court had failed to record its satisfaction under Section 10A(2) of the Divorce Act and not even followed the mandatory procedure of six months waiting period, therefore bar under Section 19 (2) of the Family Courts Act would not apply and the instant appeal would be maintainable.[Tiji Daniel v. Roy Panamkoodan,2018 SCC OnLine Ker 4145, decided on 17-09-2018] 

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Single Judge Bench at Goa comprising of C.V. Bhadang, J., confirmed the decree of dissolution of marriage between the parties passed by Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Calgary, Canada.

An application under Article 1102 of the  Portuguese Civil Code was filed seeking the confirmation of the abovesaid decree of the abovementioned Court. A perusal of the Certificate of Divorce issued by the competent court showed that the marriage between the parties was dissolved. It was evident from the Separation Agreement that the dissolution was by consent of parties.

The High Court reiterated the requirements for confirmation  of such a decree, which included:

  • Authenticity of the judgment as well as the correctness of the reasoning;
  • Judgment of foreign court having become res judicata according to the law of the country;
  • Judgment being delivered by a court of competent jurisdiction;
  • Dispute between the parties not being subject to defences of lis pendens or res judicata.
  • Defendant having been duly summoned;
  • Judgment not going against the Portuguese public order; and
  • Judgment having been delivered not in violation of any of the Portuguese Private Law.

The Court held that the requirements as listed above were satisfied in the instant case. The application was, thus, allowed. [Joaquim Cardozo v. Fanny Margaret Mascarenhas E. Cardozo, 2018 SCC OnLine Bom 1830, dated 26-07-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court at Goa: A Single Judge Bench comprising of C.V. Bhadang, J., dismissed an appeal filed against the concurrent findings of the courts below that resulted in decreeing the suit of the respondents.

The matter related to the validity of the Will in question. The respondents had filed a regular civil suit against the appellant, contending that the said Will was obtained by undue influence exercised by the appellants over the testator. The trial court framed as many as eight issues. And after appreciation of evidence, decreed the suit of the respondents. Appellant preferred an appeal before the district judge. However, the same got dismissed. Aggrieved thus, the appellant approached the High Court. It was submitted that the Appellate Court did not frame proper points which violated Order 41 Rule 31 CPC.

The High Court, on a careful consideration of rival submissions made on behalf of the parties, was of the view that appeal did not raise any substantial question of law. The Court observed that when an appeal is heard on merits, the High Court has to examine whether the failure of the first Appellate Court to formulate the questions as required by Order 41 Rule 31 has resulted in miscarriage of justice. The Court was of the opinion that the points framed by the Appellate Court showed that all the necessary issues were covered. Further, the Court observed that Section 99 of CPC inter alia provides that no decree shall be reversed or substantially varied, nor shall any case be remanded in appeal on account of any error not affecting the merits of the case or the jurisdiction of the court. The Court held that in the instant case there was no such miscarriage of justice that affected the merits of the case. The Court did not find it a fit case to interfere with the impugned judgment. Therefore, the appeal was dismissed. [Shablo Govind Gaude v. Kashinath Govind Gaude,2018 SCC OnLine Bom 1239, dated 14-6-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: An appeal filed by the wife against the decree of divorce by mutual consent, was allowed by a Division Bench comprising of Pankaj Mithal and Rajiv Joshi, JJ.

A decree was passed by the family court under Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act (HMA), 1955 for dissolution of the marriage of the appellant-wife and her husband by mutual consent. The wife preferred the appeal under Section 28 HMA read with Section 19 of Family Courts Act 1984, against the said decree contending that her consent was obtained by undue influence. The question before the Court was ‘whether an appeal under Section 19 of Family Courts Act would lie against a decree passed under Section 13-B HMA?’

The Court perused Section 13-B and held that a decree of divorce by mutual consent could be passed by the Court only if all the conditions mentioned under the said Section are complied with. The Court referred to Section 23(1) (bb) and relying on Sureshta Devi v. Om Prakash, (1991) 2 SCC 25, held that before passing a decree under Section 13-B, the Court must satisfy itself that the consent of the parties was not obtained by coercion, fraud or undue influence. Further, Section 28 HMA did not place any rider on appeals against a consent decree under the Act. In light of the discussion as mentioned herein, the Court admitted the appeal and directed the issuing of notice to the respondent. [Pooja v. Vijay Chaitanya,  2018 SCC OnLine All 513, dated 06-04-2018]

Supreme Court

Supreme Court: In a matter before the Court as to whether the validity of a decree passed on a compromise can be challenged in a separate suit, a bench comprising of T.S. Thakur and R. Banumathi JJ., upheld the decision of the Additional City Civil Judge that a separate suit was not maintainable and that the only remedy available to the aggrieved party is to approach the Court which had passed the compromise decree.

In the instant case, the dispute arose as to the validity of a compromise between the parties with respect to alienation of property as a gift. The trial Court held that the suit holding the gift-deed in question is null and void and not binding on the plaintiff. Aggrieved with the decree of the trial Court, the respondent moved to the High Court which set aside the judgment and decree of the trial Court on the basis that a compromise had taken place between the parties. The aggrieved appellant appeared before the Additional City Civil Judge where the plaint filed by the plaintiff-appellant was rejected in the light of the proviso to Order 23 Rule 3 of CPC. The appellant then filed a miscellaneous application taking plea that no compromise had taken place nor was any compromise petition ever signed between the parties. The High Court declined to consider the prayer made by the appellant and held that the appellant may seek redressal in a separate suit against any such order of rejection.

The question which arose before this Court was whether the High Court was right in directing the appellant to seek redress in separate suit. The Court observed that as soon as a question relating to the lawfulness of the agreement/ compromise is raised before the Court that passed the decree on the basis of any such agreement or compromise, it is that Court and that Court alone who can examine and determine that question.

The Court concluded that the High Court in the process remained oblivious of the provisions of the Order 23 of Rule 3 and 3 A of CPC, as it cannot direct the parties to file a separate suit on the subject for which no such suit will lie in view of the provision of Order 23 Rule 3 A of CPC.. The Court allowed the appeal and set aside the Order of the High Court and remitted the matter back to the High Court for disposal in accordance with the law. R. Rajanna v. S.R. Ventakaswamy2014 SCC OnLine SC 920, decided on November 20, 2014.