Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Section 13 — Foreign Judgment, rendered in matrimonial disputes

February 26th, 2013

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Section 13 — Foreign Judgment, rendered in matrimonial disputes — Not in compliance with principles of natural justice — Conclusiveness of — Decree of dissolution of marriage was passed by Superior Court of California which was not the result of the contest between the parties — Held, the impugned proceedings and the decree of dissolution are in violation of the principles of natural justice — The Superior Court of California, despite being aware of the order of this Court, disregarded the same merely on the technical ground that the order did not indicate that the husband was ever served with the Indian order and in completely ignoring the principles of natural justice, concluded that the Court had the jurisdiction to hear the husband’s petition for dissolution of marriage and that there was no legal basis to stay the divorce proceedings, authorizing the husband to proceed with his request wife’s absence — Cumulative effect of the facts is that the decree of dissolution of marriage passed by the Superior Court of California cannot be said to have been passed on merits nor can it be said to be in compliance with the principles of natural justice — The plaintiff-wife did not contest the claim nor agreed to passing of the decree — In fact, the plaintiff in the present case did not have the wherewithal to contest the impugned proceedings — Since appellant’s bank account had been fraudulently operated by the defendant and his relatives by forging her signatures and First Information Report in this regard was lodged by her, in respect of which Status Report has been filed by the Investigating Agency — In these circumstances, the judgment, having been passed in default of wife’s appearance, is clearly in violation of the principle of audi alteram partem, where the wife is not in a position to contest the case in a foreign jurisdiction, resulting in grave injustice to the wife — Decree of dissolution can not be said to be conclusive and hence the same is not enforceable in India — Therefore, decree of dissolution of marriage in favour of the defendant is declared null and void and unenforceable in India being opposed to the laws in force in this country — Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 — Section 13 — Decree of dissolution of marriage on the ground of irreconcilable difference — Setting aside of.

Y. Narasimha Rao and Others Vs. Y.Venkata Lakshmi and Another, (1991) 3 SCC 451, Relied on.

Neeraja Saraph (Smt) v. Jayant V.Saraph and Anr, (1994) 6 SCC 461, Referred.

(Para 16, 17 & 20)

Sheenam Raheja v. Amit Wadhwa, CS (OS) 990/2010(10/09/2012), 2012(131) DRJ 568 [Reva Khetrapal, J.]

Entry Filed under: Judgements,Matrimonial Laws

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