In a transfer petition filed under Section 24 of CPC, the Calcutta High Court has ruled that if such transfer is sought by a wife during the course of matrimonial proceedings, the court should, while deciding the petition, take into consideration the inconvenience caused to her.
The decision rendered by Justice Bibek Chaudhuri has made it clear that if transfer is sought by a wife in a matrimonial suit, (in)convenience of the wife to attend court proceedings will be an important factor in deciding the same.
Notably, this ruling runs contrary to a former observation made by the high court that mere inconvenience of wife to attend the court is not a ground to transfer a matrimonial suit to another court.
Last year, in Dipika Agarwal v. Rishi Agarwal, the high court had ruled, "simply because the wife feels inconvenient to attend Court at Alipore is no ground for withdrawal of Matrimonial Suit from the Court at Alipore and to transfer it in the district of Birbhum."
In the present case, the Petitioner-wife had sought transfer of a divorce petition, filed by her husband in Jalpaiguri, to Durgapur, where she lived with her parents. She had pleaded that the distance between Durgapur and Jalpaiguri being more than 600 km, it was not financially possible for her to bear such expenses for the journey.
Allowing the petition, the high court observed,
"she has no income of her own. She is fully dependent upon her parents. The opposite party has not paid any maintenance for his wife and the son. Under such circumstances, the petitioner will of course suffer inconvenience to travel Jalpaiguri from Durgapur which is situated at a distance of about 600 km away in one way."
The high court also allowed her plea to transfer the child custody petition filed by her husband. Relying on Section 9 of the Guradians and Wards Act, the court observed,
"In the instant case the minor child of the parties ordinarily resides at Durgapur with his mother. He is a student of Bidhan School, Durgapur. Therefore, the court of the learned Additional District Judge, Durgapur has the jurisdiction under Section 9 of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 to try the said miscellaneous case. Moreover for the benefit of the minor child, the said miscellaneous case ought to be transferred to Durgapur for hearing and disposal."
Section 9(1) of the GWA states-
"If the application is with respect to the guardianship of the person of the minor, it shall be made to the District Court having jurisdiction in the place where the minor ordinarily resides."
Case Title: Sanchayita Deb (Guha) v. Susanta Deb
Case No.: CO No. 3963/2018 with CO No. 3964/2018
Quorum: Justice Bibek Chaudhuri
Appearance: Advocates Uday Sankar Chattopadhyay and Suman Shankar Chatterjee (for Petitioner)