Warring couple works it out
On its third attempt, the Bombay High Court succeeded in steering an estranged couple to an amicable settlement over their child’s custody and the settlement amount.
US-based Dhiraj Shah and Pune-resident Anamika (names changed) filed consent terms in the high court on Monday, finalising the settlement of their divorce by mutual consent.
Prabhjit Jauhar, advocate for Dhiraj, thanked the court for helping them reach the settlement. “The two earlier attempts had failed. We are grateful that it has been settled,” he said.
According to the consent terms, Dhiraj will deposit Rs 50 lakh with the high court — Rs 30 lakh for Anamika and Rs 10 lakh each for their two minor daughters, aged 3 and 5 — as the final settlement amount. Anamika will have custody of both the children.
She will be able to withdraw the amount only after the divorce is finalised, and after she withdraws the harassment complaint lodged against him. Following a Supreme Court ruling, the couple will have to wait six months before getting a divorce by mutual consent. Until the divorce is finalised, Dhiraj will pay Anamika Rs 50,000 per month.
Shekhar Chandrashekhar, Anamika’s advocate, said a report from ICICI Bank was awaited. The bank, where Dhiraj’s mother and Anamika hold a joint locker, was asked to give details on whether the locker was operated after August 2005.
Anamika has claimed her streedhan (jewellery given by her parents and relatives at the time of her wedding), which is in the locker. Jauhar said the locker would be opened after the bank report, and Anamika would be entitled to take whatever jewelry is in it.
Chandrashekhar alleged the locker had been operated and the jewelry removed.
Dhiraj and Anamika married in 2001, and settled in the US. Early this year, Dhiraj filed a petition seeking Anamika be directed to return to the US with their two daughters.
In September 2008, Anamika filed a petition in the family court in Pune seeking maintenance. On December 22, 2008, a US court directed Anamika to return to the US with their children, who were US citizens by birth.
The matter is still pending.