15 Feb 2022 11:11 AM GMT
The Allahabad High Court has observed that the fact that a wife is not having anyone to accompany her across a long distance is also a relevant consideration in ordering the transfer of a matrimonial case.The Bench of Justice J. J. Munir observed thus while allowing a transfer application filed by a wife seeking transfer of a matrimonial case (filed by the husband) from the court of...
The Allahabad High Court has observed that the fact that a wife is not having anyone to accompany her across a long distance is also a relevant consideration in ordering the transfer of a matrimonial case.
The Bench of Justice J. J. Munir observed thus while allowing a transfer application filed by a wife seeking transfer of a matrimonial case (filed by the husband) from the court of Principal Judge, Family Court, Gautam Budh Nagar to the court of Principal Judge, Family Court, Allahabad.
The case in brief
The applicant (wife) and the opposite party (Husband) are an estranged couple. They got married in June 2019 and the same year the Husband (opposite party) instituted a petition in the Family Court, Gautam Budh Nagar, under Section 12(1)(b) and (c) read with Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
He sought a decree for annulment on the ground that his wife (applicant) was of unsound mind, a condition that her family knew but misrepresented, practicing fraud and deception to induce the opposite party into marrying the Applicant.
On the other hand, the wife alleged that her husband and his family members made a dowry demand and tortured her in order to extract more dowry. She also instituted two cases in Prayagraj, one under Section 125 Cr.P.C., besides another case under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
Now, the wife moved the instant transfer plea on the grounds that two cases are already pending inter partes before the Courts at Allahabad, and therefore, it would be convenient if the husband's petition for annulment of marriage is also transferred from Gautam Budh Nagar to the Family Court at Allahabad.
Further, it was also pointed out by her that she stays at Prayagraj after her estrangement, and the further ground is that she is a woman and unemployed, who cannot travel by herself from Allahabad to Gautam Budh Nagar on each date fixed in the petition there.
At the outset, the Court clarified that so far as the suggestion of the husband to direct hearing at Gautam Budh Nagar through Video Conferencing for the wife is concerned, it may not accord with the law as the Apex Court had already observed in the case of Santhini vs. Vijaya Venketesh, 2018 (1) SCC 1 that in a transfer petition, no direction can be issued for videoconferencing.
Further, taking into account the decisions of the Apex Court in the cases of Manjula Singh Chouhan vs. Vishal Singh Chouhan, 2019 (13) SCC 660, Bhartiben Ravibhai Rav vs. Ravibhai Govindbhai Rav, 2017 (6) SCC 785, G.R. Bhuvaneshwari vs. G.S. Puttaraju, 2018 (13) SCC 650 and many others, the Court opined that the convenience of the wife is to be accorded preference in the matter of venue of proceeding in causes matrimonial.
Therefore, the Court allowed the transfer plea in view of the following observation made by it:
"The relevant factor about the wife not having anyone to accompany her across a long distance, is also a relevant consideration in ordering transfer. Here, the distance is about 700 Kms. between Gautam Budh Nagar and Prayagraj. Two cases are already pending at Prayagraj and the wife has no one in her family to act as her escort on every date that is scheduled before the Court at Gautam Budh Nagar. The wife, though well qualified, has not been shown to be possessed of any gainful occupation in her profession for the time being. The handicap that arises from lack of resources, cannot be always arithmetically calculated in terms of money spent on travel, lodging and board. Lack of financial resources bring many other kinds of handicaps, that cannot always be liquidated through taxable recompense."
With this, the proceedings of the Case under Section 12 (1)(b) and (c) read with Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 were withdrawn from the Principal Judge, Family Court, Gautam Budh Nagar and transferred to the learned Principal Judge, Family Court, Allahabad.
Case title - Smt. Shakshi Agrawal v. Sri Ashutosh AgrawalCase citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 45
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