The Karnataka High Court has overturned a divorce decree granted ex-parte to a husband and remanded the matter back to the family court for fresh consideration, after it was found that husband gave wrong address details of the wife, so that she could not be called upon to file her reply to his divorce petition.
The wife argued before the high court that "Since the appellant's parental house is in Shironi of Rajasthan State, she went there and there she has filed a petition seeking restitution of conjugal rights with her husband.It is after filing of the said petition, she came to know that her husband had secured decree of divorce. "
It was further argued that "She secured certified copy of the judgment in the said proceedings and came to know that the husband had filed the matrimonial case by giving wrong address where the place 'Sirohi', where the appellant is residing, is wrongly shown as 'Shironi' and subsequently got the notice endorsed as 'refused' and got the matrimonial case filed by him disposed off on merits."
High court asked the husband to remain present before the court by an earlier order. But the counsel representing him told the court that "He could not get in touch with the respondent. That two mobile phone numbers provided to him are switched off, hence he was not able to get in touch with the respondent."
The bench observed:
" All these things would clearly indicate that the entire proceeding before the Family Court at Hubballi was orchestrated in such a way to defeat the legitimate right of Smt. Renu and also maintenance of minor child Kushal born in wedlock to the appellant and the respondent. It is also seen that the decree of divorce is granted without appreciating the material on record and also by not following the statutory provisions which are required to be seen by the Court below while considering the grant of decree of divorce. Hence, the same is required to be set aside."
The matter is remanded back to the Court below for fresh consideration. It is made clear that the hearing of the remanded matter shall be on 20th September 2019 on which date the Family Court shall first consider the maintenance payable to the respondent-wife in the said proceeding and as well as the minor child born to the parties in the wedlock.
Both the parties, who are represented by their counsel in this proceeding, are directed to be present before the Family Court, Hubballi, on the next date of hearing to avoid further delay in the said proceedings.
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