A family court in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, granted divorce decree to a man, while another court on the same campus allowed his wife’s request for restitution of conjugal rights, three-years ago. Both appeals came up for hearing in the Gujarat High Court.
The high court admitted the wife’s petition and decided to hear the appeals filed by both the parties together.
The couple got married in 2008 and have been living separately since 2013. They have an 11-year-old daughter, who lives with her father.
It was submitted that the husband’s suit for a divorce decree was going on in Court No. 2, where the wife could not remain present, as she had received court summons from an adjacent court.
At the same time, the wife’s application filed under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act for restitution of conjugal rights was underway in Court No. 3, where the husband was absent. Both the parties were litigating for a few years and each court passed ex-parte orders in favour of the respective litigants in 2018.
The husband approached the high court and challenged the family court’s order directing him to perform his matrimonial duty. While the husband’s appeal was pending, the wife also moved the high court recently and challenged the divorce decree stating that it was passed without hearing her.
Gujarat High Court
The husband’s lawyer argued that the wife had known about the divorce proceedings, but she chose not to appear in the proceedings and went on to demand restitution of conjugal rights in another court.
The wife’s lawyer claimed that the woman had no inkling about the divorce suit and the summons was served in the form of a public notice, which was published in a newspaper.
On Monday, a bench of Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice V D Nanavati questioned the reason for the contradictory orders by the family courts. The matter will be now heard jointly.
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