Wife has right to pick court in matrimonial disputes, says HC
During the hearing, the court observed that ethos as manifested under Article 51-A of the Indian Constitution envisaged that it will be the fundamental duty of every Indian citizen to uphold the dignity of the women.
The right to choose the location of a court for adjudication of a matrimonial dispute lies with the wife, the Punjab and Haryana high court observed as it ordered the transfer of a case from Bhiwani family court to Mohali on Tuesday.
A bench of Justice Arun Monga was hearing the transfer plea of a woman when he said: “Only in a case where the wife is residing outside India, the husband can institute proceedings where he is residing. Whereas, the wife can, in any case, file a petition in a competent court, within whose limits she is residing. The said right has been exclusively conferred on a wife so as to keep her convenience in mind in matrimonial matters.”
In her plea, the woman had sought transfer of the 2020 case from Bhiwani to Mohali, where she last lived with her husband. The husband, who lives in the United States, had argued that his wife had sufficient means and could easily appear before Bhiwani court.
The wife, however, claimed that she was residing with her parents in Mohali, which was 250 km away from Bhiwani. She added that her father was a heart patient and as both her brothers were married and living elsewhere, there was no one to accompany her to the court for hearings.
During the hearing, the court observed that ethos as manifested under Article 51-A of the Indian Constitution envisaged that it will be the fundamental duty of every Indian citizen to uphold the dignity of the women. As per Article 15 (3), power was also conferred on the state to make special provisions for women and children in such matters. It was perhaps in this spirit that an amendment was inserted in 2003 in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the court added.