By way of background, the Delhi High Court in Amina Bharatram v Sumant Bharatram & Others CS OS No. 411/2010 pronounced on 19th July 2016, held that "the Delhi High Court is a "district court" under Section 8 in respect of all matters enumerated in Explanation to Section 7 (1) of the Act &The Delhi High Court does not possess jurisdiction to entertain, try and decide cases and causes referred to in Sections 7 and 8 of the Family Courts Act". In pursuant to this order, the Hon'ble High Court issued practice directions dated 23.12.2016 and directed registry to not to accept any matter enumerated in Explanation to 7 of the Family Courts Act, 1984.
The said issue again came up for consideration before theDelhi High Courtin a matter titled Neha Bisht v Sidharth Verma & Others CS OS No. 207/2020 where the Plaintiff (wife) was seeking a relief of declaration and partition of a suit property jointly owned by the Husband and the wife against the Defendant (husband). In the present case, father in law was also made a defendant since he was the Power of Attorney holder of the Plaintiff.
At the admission stage, the Counsel for the Defendant submitted that the Delhi High Court does not have jurisdiction to entertain the suit and prayed that the suit may be transferred returned to Family Court in view of Amina Bharatnam's case.
The DHC noted that the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Samar Kumar Roy v Jharna Bera reported in 2017 (9) SCC 591 has observed that the title suit seeking declaration will not come under the purview of Section 7 and 8 of the Family High Court. The Hon'ble DHC also noted that in the present case, a third party (Father in law) is also one of the Defendant and Amina Bharatnam's case has not laid down any law on this aspect.
The DHC thereafter admitted/registered the suit and issued notice to the Defendant to file its written statement. The said order carves out an exception i.e. relief of declaration (and third party defendant) to the law laid down in Amina Bharatram's (and practice directions) that mandates that the suit between the parties to the marriage is to be adjudicated by the family Courts Act.
The matter was argued by Advocate Kapil Madan who appeared on behalf of the Petitioner.