The Supreme Court has asked Bollywood actor Karisma Kapoor and her estranged husband, businessman Sunjay Kapur, to resolve their matrimonial dispute amicably.
Stating that it would help the couple resolve their differences, a bench headed by Justice AK Sikri asked them to appear before it on March 8 for a personal hearing. It also asked their counsels to work out the terms of settlement before the next date.
The apex court is hearing a plea from Sunjay, seeking the transfer of the divorce petition from Mumbai to Delhi because the businessman was allegedly warned by underworld don Ravi Pujari against entering the city. The bench – at the outset – advised the couple to settle their dispute in the Supreme Court itself, instead of going back to the trial court in Mumbai. To this, the counsels for both the parties agreed to a full and final hearing in the apex court.
Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani and Sandeep Kapoor, counsels of the Bollywood actor, alleged that Sunjay had violated certain clauses of their agreement before filing a mutual consent divorce petition in Mumbai. They said there were encumbrances on Rs 8 crore of the bonds worth Rs 14 crore that the businessman had deposited on behalf of their children, so the latter – a boy and a girl – could receive a monthly interest of Rs 10 lakh for their upkeep.
The counsels submitted that Karisma had apprehensions about Sunjay keeping his promise to pay the maintenance money, considering that more than half of the deposit was in the form of bonds that could fluctuate with the share market.
Responding to this, Sunjay’s counsel Aman Hingorani said that his client was willing to pay the children Rs 10 lakh every month. “We don’t mind giving the amount. Even this amount of Rs 14 crore can go to the kids upon its maturity. But then, she has to assure access to the children,” he told the bench, which later heard the counsels in the chambers.
A matrimonial dispute filed by the couple is still pending before a court in Bandra, Mumbai.
Karisma and her husband had initially moved a mutual consent divorce petition before the court in 2014. The consent was later withdrawn after differences cropped up between the two over the financial settlement as well as the children’s custody. Sunjay filed a fresh petition to seek judicial separation in December last.
According to the petition filed by counsels Aman and Priya Hingorani, the businessman had gone to Mumbai for attending a court hearing on January 18 when his secretary received two threat calls. The caller, who identified himself as Pujari, threatened to shoot Sunjay if he returned to the city on February 2 – the next date of the hearing. A police complaint was filed, and the number was verified as the underworld don’s.
The couple had tied the knot in 2003, but the marriage turned sour soon after. The actor moved out of Sunjay’s house and shifted base to Mumbai in 2010. Four years later, the two decided to end their 12-year-old marriage.