Wife Prevails in Supreme Court’s Latest Judgment on Transfer Petition in Matrimonial Dispute

In the realm of family law, transfer petitions play a significant role in ensuring a fair and convenient trial for parties involved in matrimonial disputes. Recently, the Supreme Court of India delivered a crucial judgment on Transfer Petition (Civil) No. 1770 of 2021 and Transfer Petition (Criminal) No. 659 of 2019, addressing the complexities arising from multiple cases filed by the parties. The judgment sheds light on the considerations involved in transferring cases and the importance of balancing convenience and fairness.

Case Overview

The judgment involved Ankita Bhati as the petitioner and Dev Raj Singh Bhati as the respondent. The couple’s matrimonial dispute resulted in several cases filed by both parties, including a maintenance petition, a complaint under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, a petition under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and a petition for divorce. Ankita Bhati sought transfer of the criminal case pending in the Court at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, and Dev Raj Singh Bhati opposed the transfer.

Latest Judgment on Transfer Petition: Image showing two courts, one in the wife's city and one in husband's city, symbolizing the transfer of the legal case.

Court's Observations

The Court considered the nature of the pending cases, including those filed by both parties in different locations. In matrimonial disputes, the convenience of the wife is usually taken into account while deciding on transfer petitions. However, the Court highlighted that exceptions can be made based on the facts and circumstances of each case.

Consideration of Precedents

The Court examined the decisions in Jyoti Mishra v. Dhananjay Mishra and Nahar Singh Yadav and Anr. v. Union of India and Ors. It distinguished the facts of the present case from Jyoti Mishra’s case, where the husband faced difficulties in attending the proceedings after the transfer. In the current case, the respondent-husband was already attending to other proceedings filed by the wife in District Solan, Himachal Pradesh. Additionally, the Court emphasized that granting exemptions from personal appearance can minimize any possible prejudice to the husband.

Decision and Order

Considering the convenience of both parties, the Supreme Court allowed the transfer of the divorce petition from the Family Court at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, to the District Judge, Family Court, Solan, Himachal Pradesh. Similarly, the criminal case pending in the Court at Jaisalmer was ordered to be transferred to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kasauli, District Solan, Himachal Pradesh.

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