Inconvenience of wife prime consideration to transfer petition

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By way of instant petition , prayer has been made to transfer petition titled as Raman Kumar versus Smt. Anchal from the Court of learned Additional District Judge-I, Kangra at Dharamshala, District Kangra to the Court of learned District Judge, Chamba, District Chamba, Himachal Pradesh.

In Rajani Kishor Pardeshi versus Kishor Babulal Pardeshi, (2005) 12 SCC 237, Hon’ble Apex Court has held that convenience of wife is of prime consideration.

In the case at hand, facts, as have been discussed above, which have not been refuted, it clearly emerges that at present, petitioner resides at Chamba, which is definitely more than 100 kms .

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away from Dharamshala i.e. Court, where respondent-husband has filed petition for divorce. Similarly, there appears to be no dispute with regard to petitioner having minor child aged three years and it can be presumed that it is difficult for the petitioner to attend each and every hearing at Dharamshala, leaving her minor child at Chamba.

Leaving everything aside, this Court can not lose sight of the fact that petitioner is unnecessarily being made to spend huge sum of money on transportation, as she being respondent in the petition in the court below initiated at the behest of respondent (husband) at Dharamshala, is always under obligation to attend the Court at Dharamshala.

During proceedings of the case, attention of this Court was invited to the judgment passed by Hon’ble Apex Court in Krishna Veni Nagam versus Harish Nagam, (2017) 4 SCC 150, wherein Hon’ble Apex Court has held as under:

“We are of the view that if orders are to be passed in every individual petition, this causes great hardship to the litigants who have to come to this Court. Moreover in this process, the matrimonial matters which are required to be dealt with expeditiously are delayed. In these circumstances, we are prima facie of the view that we need to consider whether we could pass a general order to the effect that in case where husband files matrimonial proceedings at place where wife does not reside, the court concerned should entertain such petition only on the condition that the husband makes appropriate deposit to bear the expenses of the wife as may be determined by the Court. The Court may also pass orders from time to time for further deposit to ensure that the wife is not handicapped to defend the proceedings. In other cases, the husband may take proceedings before the Court in whose jurisdiction the wife resides which may lessen inconvenience to the parties and avoid delay. Any .

other option to remedy the situation can also be considered.

We are thus of the view that it is necessary to issue certain directions which may provide alternative to seeking transfer of proceedings on account of inability of a party to contest proceedings at a place away from their ordinary residence on the ground that if proceedings are not transferred it will result in denial of justice.

18. We, therefore, direct that in matrimonial or custody matters or in proceedings between parties to a marriage or arising out of disputes between parties to a marriage, wherever the defendants/respondents are located outside the jurisdiction of the court, the court where proceedings are instituted, may examine whether it is in the interest of justice to incorporate any safeguards for ensuring that summoning of defendant/respondent does not result in denial of justice. Order incorporating such safeguards may be sent along with the summons. The safeguards can be:-

i) Availability of video conferencing facility.

ii) Availability of legal aid service.

iii) Deposit of cost for travel, lodging and boarding in terms of Order XXV CPC.

iv) E-mail address/phone number, if any, at which litigant from out station may communicate.”