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Sanjeev Kuchhal (Publishers)     17 November 2009

Speedy disposal in divorce disputes

Rival pleas in divorce case can be decided together, says HC


Swati Deshpande, TNN 15 November 2009, 02:29am IST


MUMBAI: In a judgment that will aid speedy disposal in divorce disputes, Bombay high court has held that family courts have the power to jointly decide two different claims between warring couple.


For instance, a husband’s plea to share the bed again and the wife’s request to stop sharing their lives can be decided at one go by the family court judge even though the two pleas may have been made two years apart.


A two-judge bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Ajay Khanwilkar on Thursday upheld an order of the family court passed last June to club two different petitions — one by the husband and other by the wife — and to decide them together on merits to save ‘‘precious time and avoid more delay’’.


In the matter before the division bench, a 48-year-old man had appealed against a single judge’s last November’s decision that had upheld a family court verdict. The man had filed for restitution of conjugal rights in 2004 before the family court in Bandra after a 15-year marriage. The wife took 10 months to oppose his plea and over two years later fired a salvo with her own petition seeking divorce on grounds of cruelty and desertion under the Hindu Marriage Act.


The husband, citing the procedural rule book for civil cases, asked the family court to stay the wife’s petition and decide his demand first. He was confident that his plea would be granted and it would give them a year to work things out as husband and wife to ‘‘sustain the institution of marriage’’ which, he said, was the ‘‘primary objective’’ of family courts.


The wife, instead said, the two pleas must be clubbed together otherwise it would only result in two separate trials. The court agreed that ‘‘precious time will be saved since the husband’s petition was pending for four years’’ and, to ‘‘avoid further delay and multiplicity of trials, it was in the interest of justice to decide both petitions together’’.


 5 Replies

Kamal Grover (Advocate High Court Chandigarh M:09814110005 email:adv.kamal.grover@gmail.com)     17 November 2009



Sanjiv ji this is usual course of action of the court adn noting new. Plz provide any other good judgment.


Sanjeev Kuchhal (Publishers)     17 November 2009

Sir, I appreciate your comments. Next time I will take care.

But I think that usual practice is one side and precedent is another. Some time Lower Courts put you in a strange position, though against commonly kown law, but you cannot defend without a citation in your hand.

Kamal Grover (Advocate High Court Chandigarh M:09814110005 email:adv.kamal.grover@gmail.com)     18 November 2009



No doubt dear Sanjiv, but where decision of both the cases affects each other case and where the facts and circumstances of the case are corelated then court itself clubs both the petitions in normal cause of action. But anyhow u did a good effort keep going. but my view was plz dont do futile exercise but concentrate on best cases so that people should appriciate also.

Good luck

K. Rajendra Prakash (Advocate)     22 November 2009

 To avoid delay and multiplicity of trials and thereby save precious time of the Court the cases will be clubbed.

deepak raj sharma (lawyer)     13 January 2011

sir, would you give detail of case law/petition related to early disposal of case

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