Showing posts with label family court. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family court. Show all posts

01 July 2020

In matrimonial dispute, secret recording is admissible in evidence if found to be relevant

Electronic Evidence obtained illegally - Petition for divorce u/s. 13(1)(ia) of The Hindu Marriage Act - CCTV footage recorded without knowledge of wife - In recording wife was found to be talking on phone with her lady friend in a manner derogatory and defamatory to the husband - Husband produced CD of this recording as the evidence in divorce proceeding - Wife in her written statements opposed that CD to be tampered with and inadmissible as it is procured in breach of her right of privacy - After this objection husband made an application to family court to get the genuineness of CD examined from Forensic Lab - Family allowed that application and the same challenged by wife before High Court

Can CCTV audio-video secretly recorded by a spouse be permitted to be used against other spouse in a matrimonial dispute?

Held: In matrimonial dispute, secret recording is admissible in evidence if found to be relevant to the facts-in-issue; and the other party can initiate legal action action the party for adopting illegal means; but such action would not render the illegally obtained evidence inadmissible if it is otherwise relevant for the  purpose of deciding the matrimonial dispute between the parties.

   The sequitur to the aforesaid constitutional and legal landscape is that :
(a) The settled rule, purely from the standpoint of the law of evidence, is that evidence is admissible so long as it is relevant, regardless of how it is collected. Digressing from this settled position would have wide ramifications and consequences; and would be a serious hindrance to judicial proceedings across the board, in several foreseeable and unforeseeable ways. On the other hand, the possible misuse of this rule of evidence, particularly in the context of the right to privacy, can be addressed by prudent exercise of judicial discretion by a court not at the time of receiving evidence but at the time of using evidence at the stage of adjudication ;

25 June 2020

Refusal by Hindu-wife to wear 'sindoor' is cruelty against husband

Refusal by Hindu-wife to wear 'sindoor' and preventing husband performing duties towards his parents; is cruelty against husband.


   Upon due perusal of the judgment it is seen that the discussion of the court below does not refer to certain pertinent evidences, which were brought before the Court by the contesting parties while adducing evidences. As discussed above, it is not disputed by the respondent wife that there was indeed an agreement entered into by and between the appellant husband and the respondent wife whereby the appellant was required to provide separate accommodation to the respondent wife in a rented house away from the matrimonial house and that the appellant's family members were not to be permitted to come and visit them. The respondent wife categorically admitted in her cross- examination about the presence of the said clause in the said agreement. It is also seen from the evidence that the respondent had filed another case before Digboi Police Station being Digboi P.S. Case No.230/2013, under Sections 471/420 IPC pending before the SDJM, Margherita, District Tinsukia wherein, it was submitted at the bar that charge sheet has been filed against the petitioner and other accused. PW1/appellant also adduced in his evidence that the respondent had refused to wear 'sakha and sindoor' any more. Such statement was not confronted to the appellant during the cross-examination, and accordingly, the same remained uncontroverted and is therefore an evidence material for the purpose of this proceedings. Under the custom of Hindu Marriage, a lady who has entered into marriage according to Hindu rituals and customs, and which has not been denied by the respondent in her evidence, her refusal to wear ' sakha and sindoor' will project her to be unmarried and/or signify her refusal to accept the marriage with the appellant. Such categorical stand of the respondent points to the clear intention of the respondent that she is unwilling to continue her conjugal life with the appellant. Under such circumstances compelling the appellant husband to continue to be in matrimony with the respondent wife may be construed to be harassment inflicted by the respondent upon the appellant and his family members.

Refusal by Hindu-wife to wear 'sindoor' is cruelty against husband

This evidence although available before  the Family Court during the evidence adduced, was not taken into account during the discussion in the impugned judgment. As such the Family Court erred in evaluating the evidence in the proper perspective. During the course of hearing it was submitted at the bar that the criminal proceedings pursuant to filing of Digboi P.S. Case No.159/2013, under Section 498(A) IPC against the appellant has been dismissed as the informant, namely the respondent wife was not pursuing the said proceeding. As such the allegation of subjecting the respondent wife to cruelty was not sustained. Such acts of lodging criminal cases on unsubstantiated allegations against the husband and/or the husband's family members amounts to cruelty as held by the Supreme Court. In this context, the Hon'ble Supreme Court in a recent judgment being Rani Narasimha Sastri vs. Rani Suneela Rani, 2019 SCC Online SC 1595 has held that filing of criminal cases like case under Sections 498(A) IPC etc. against the husband and the family members and which are subsequently dismissed/rejected by the Family Court, is sufficient to be construed as an act of cruelty by the wife. The Hon'ble Supreme Court has held as under:.....[Para No.15]

19 June 2020

Divorced Muslim woman cannot claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. from her husband

Muslim divorced wife - entitlement of maintenance - sec.125 of CrPC - Sec. 3 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 - jurisdiction and power of family court to convert an application filed u/s.125 of CrPC into an application u/s. 3 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.

Held: A divorced Muslim woman cannot claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. from her husband after the enactment of the 1986 Act for Muslim Women. However, under Section 3  read with Section 4 of the 1986 Act for Muslim Women, a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to an order of maintenance, if she is unable to maintain herself after the Iddat period and has not remarried.

Family Court would have jurisdiction under Section 7 of the Family Courts Act to entertain an application under Section 3 and 4 if The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.

It is now settled that a divorced Muslim woman cannot claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. from her husband after the enactment of the 1986 Act for Muslim Women. However, under Section 3 read with Section 4 of the 1986 Act for Muslim Women, a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to an order of maintenance, if she is unable to maintain herself after the Iddat period and has not remarried. Section 5 of the 1986 Act for Muslim Women provides that a divorced woman and her former husband might decide by an affidavit or any other declaration in writing, that they would prefer to be governed by the provisions of Section 125 to 128 of the Cr.P.C.[Para No.56]

Divorced Muslim woman cannot claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. from her husband

Sub-section (2) of Section 3 is an enabling provision which enables a divorced Muslim woman to make an application to a Magistrate for an order for payment of maintenance or mehr or dower or delivery of properties, as the case may be. The non- obstante clause is restricted to sub-section (1) of Section 3 and does not cover sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the 1986 Act for Muslim Women. There is no conflict between Section 3(2) of the 1986 Act for Muslim women and the Family Courts Act. On the other hand, Section 20 of the Family Courts Act, 1984 gives overriding effect to the Family Courts Act notwithstanding anything therewith contained in any other law in force. The Family Court is to exercise all the jurisdiction exercisable by any District Court or any other subordinate Civil court in respect of a proceeding for maintenance.

18 May 2020

Qualification of wife and capacity to earn cannot be a ground to deny maintenance to wife who is dependent and does not have any source of income

Factors be considered in fixing the quantum of maintainable.

   It is also well settled principal of law that while granting the maintenance, following factors should be taken into consideration :
  • (I) Income, property and capability of earning of both the parties.
  • (ii) Living standard and need of the parties keeping in mind the principle that wife is entitled to get an amount of maintenance which will enable her to maintain almost the same standard of living to which she was entitled if she would have lived in the house of her husband. 
Qualification-and-capacity-to-earn-not-ground-to-deny-maintenance-to-defendant-wife
  • (iii) Qualification of the wife and capacity to earn cannot be a ground to deny maintenance to a wife who is dependent and does not have any source of income. Whether Appellant is capable of earning or whether she is actually earning are two different requirements. Merely because Appellant is capable of earning is not sufficient reason to reduce the maintenance awarded by the Family Court.[Para No.12] 

03 May 2020

Family Court has jurisdiction to award permanent alimony to Muslim wife while granting the decree of divorce in her favor

The point to be stressed is that the relief of maintenance whether to the wife or the children is incidental to the relief of 'dissolution of marriage'. Merely because 'The Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939', does not mention that the Court is also having the jurisdiction or power to grant such relief, it cannot be said that the Court is not having the jurisdiction to grant it, if it is incidental, claimed and the Court finds it necessary to grant the same. Moreover, the right of maintenance given to wife and the minor children under the provisions of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, is in addition to the right, which the minor children are having under Muslim Law to get maintenance from the father.
The law expects that the parties should not be driven to approach the different forums but in one forum itself they should be granted whatever reliefs to which they are entitled.[Para No.56]
   
The provision for permanent alimony is incidental to the granting of a decree or judicial separation, divorce or annulment of marriage. In other words, the relief of permanent alimony is a relief incidental to the granting of the substantive relief by the Court in the main proceeding.[Para No.79]

permanent-alimony-to-Muslim-wife
   The right of maintenance and right in the matrimonial property are the consequences of the marriage or its dissolution. Those reliefs are incidental to the main relief of 'dissolution of marriage' and therefore, these reliefs are very much an integral part of the decree of 'dissolution of marriage'. The Law contemplates that the husband has two separate and distinct obligations; (I) to make "reasonable and fair provision" for his divorcee wife and (ii) to provide "maintenance" for her. The obligation to make a reasonable and fair provision for the divorced wife is not restricted until the divorced wife remarries. It is within the jurisdiction of the Family Court to pass an order for a lump sum amount to be paid to the wife in discharge of the obligation of the husband under Section 3(1)(a) of the Act, 1986 and such order cannot be modified upon remarriage of the divorced Muslim wife.
   The provision for permanent alimony is incidental to the granting of a decree or judicial separation, divorce or annulment of marriage.
   When the Family Court makes an order of permanent alimony or for one time payment in the proceedings instituted by the wife for divorce, it is not founded on any stipulation that any part of the sum would be refunded either in whole or in part. Such sum is not granted on the condition against remarriage for all times to come or for any particular period. It is something different from the obligation to her husband to maintain his divorced wife for his life or until remarried. The permanent alimony in a way is an estimated sum in lump sum to discharge the husband from her future liabilities unconditionally.[Para No.80]

Gujarat High Court

Tarif Rashidbhai Qureshi
Vs.
Asmabanu Alimohmmad Idarbhai Qureshi

Decides on 19/03/2020



23 April 2020

Does Family Court have jurisdiction in respect of dispute where marriage is not solemnized as per law

Love relationship developed between Male petitioner and female respondent belonging to different cast. They without actually performing marriage secured a false certificate from an institution indicating that they have solemnized the marriage. On the basis of such certificate they obtained marriage certificate from Municipal Corporation. After disclosure to their respective families FIR for the offences punishable under Sections 464, 465, 466, 468, 471 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code as well as for the offence punishable under the Maharashtra Regulations of Marriage Bureau and Registration Act, 1998 came to be registered.
family-court-and-illegal-marriage
 Applicant-male filed petition in Family Court for seeking declaration that he is unmarried and that the marriage certificate to be null and void. The prayer is not objected by Respondent-female; still Family Court  observed that the jurisdiction of Family Court can be invoked if someone is married as per law and dismissed that petition on the ground ground that it lacks jurisdiction to entertain the petition.

Held:

   Conjoint reading of sections 7 and 8 of the Family Courts Act makes it clear that the jurisdictions covered under section 7 of the Act are excluded from the purview of jurisdiction of civil court.

Thanks to the Stay Home constrain occurred due to Corona Virus (COVID-19) that provided the Author an opportunity to conceptualize this blog!     ❁     This blog is designed & maintained by Adv. Jainodin Shaikh, Jalgaon
Adv. Jainodin's Legal Blog