High Court quashes ex-parte divorce order, sends case to family court

Family court

Describing it as "erroneous", the Bombay High Court has set aside an order of Nashik family court granting a divorce decree ex-parte to a man in the absence of his wife who did not attend the proceedings Allowing an appeal filed by the aggrieved wife against the impugned judgement of December 7, 2011, a high court benc recently reverted the case to the Family Court for final disposal after hearing both sides.

Quashing the lower court judgement which granted divorce ex-parte (in absence of the other side) and restoring the case, justices Naresh Patil and A R Joshi asked both wife and husband to appear before the Family Court on February 25 in the same matter.

The Judges asked the family court to dispose of the petition (filed by the husband seeking divorce) on its own merits. They also asked both the parties to co-operate with the court in final disposal of the petition.

"The appellant (wife) could have been more diligent in prosecuting her remedies and participating in the proceedings before the family court. Certainly, the issue was relating to claim of divorce. Serious consequences flow from the orders passed in the matter of this nature. The relationship between the parties gets affected", the judges observed.

The family court had rejected the application filed bythe wife observing that the matter was posted for judgement and there was no scope to review the order.

"The view expressed by the trial court (family court) is erroneous and in contrast with settled principles of law. The court ought to have looked into prayer made by the appellant (wife) substantially instead of taking technical view of the matter", observed the high court bench.

"In the facts of the case, we find that adequate opportunity is required to be provided to the appellant (wife)to test the matter on merits. We are inclined to remand matterto the family court for expeditious disposal on merits", the judges noted.

... contd.

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