-Report by Nehha Mishra
In the case of DELMA LUBNA COELHO VS EDMOND CLINT FERNANDES, the petitioner filed the petition seeking the transfer of the pending case before the family judge at Mangaluru, Karnataka to the family court at Bandra, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The couple met on Facebook in December 2019 and married on December 5, 2020, according to Christian rites and customs at Our Lady of Miracles Church in Mangaluru. Following the marriage, the petitioner lived with the respondent in her matrimonial house in Mangaluru, where she was abused, insulted, and humiliated by the respondent and his family members.
She was accused of everything, and foul language was used against her. Under the guise of providing her with a 10-15day break, the respondent booked a one-way ticket for the petitioner and despatched her to Mumbai on January 15, 2021.
After COVID19 Pandemic limitations were lifted on July 5, 2021, the petitioner returned to Mangaluru. The defendant and his family members, however, refused her admission into her matrimonial house. She was completely distraught. She went to the Pandeshwar Police Station in Mangaluru and filed a complaint.
The Superintendent of Police intervened and summoned the respondent to the Police Station. The respondent replied that he has already served a divorce notice and that his divorce petition is being prepared. Despite the petitioner’s repeated appeals, the respondent did not change his behaviour. On 06.08.2021, she responded to the legal notice, claiming that she is ready and eager to come to her matrimonial home and want to live a happily married life. On October 10, 2021, she received a summons from the Court, along with a copy of the divorce petition filed in the Mangaluru Family Court.
The petitioner’s learned counsel stated that she lives in Mumbai with her elderly parents. No one at her home can accompany her from Mumbai to Mangaluru to defend the petition, which is over 1,000 km away. She doesn’t even know the Kannada language. The respondent, on the other hand, will experience no difficulties if the petition is relocated to Mumbai (Maharashtra).
The petitioner claims that if given the chance, she would try to rework the marriage. The petitioner was obliged to obtain a job with a bank because the respondent failed to financially support her. If she routinely travels to Mangaluru to attend the proceedings, she risks losing her job as a newbie. She will be unable to bear the additional expenditure.
The petitioner has filed a petition for restitution of marital rights in response to the respondent’s Divorce Petition.
On the other hand, experienced counsel for the respondent contended that, even though the parties met on social media, one year before their marriage, she had visited Mangaluru after the COVID19 Pandemic/restrictions were removed and they met often.
She was well aware of the respondent’s familial background as well as the condition of his family. The petitioner’s behaviour was not the same after the marriage as it was before the marriage.
The petitioner, a permanent resident of Canada, was accustomed to such a way of life. The marriage was just intended to ruin the respondent’s life, even though she first claimed to love Indian culture and traditions. Though it is claimed that the respondent forced the petitioner to leave the matrimonial home, the petitioner chose to leave on her own. She applied for a job with ICICI Bank immediately after arriving in Mumbai and resigned from the organizationon February 19, 2021, where she was working with the respondent.
The marriage was irretrievably broken since the parties could not reconcile despite several mediations. Without the parties’ consent, this Court may issue divorce under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution.
In marriage disputes, several Transfer Petitions are filed, typically by wives requesting transfer of the matrimonial procedures launched by the husband. Normally, the court accepts the prayer given while being lenient towards ladies.
Given the status of the parties and the fact that it is a petition filed by the wife seeking transfer of the husband’s case from Mangaluru, Karnataka to Mumbai, Maharashtra, we believe no case is made out for transfer of the petition from Mangaluru, Karnataka to Mumbai, Maharashtra. The wife is a Canadian permanent resident. She must travel abroad frequently.
She can travel to Mangaluru to attend the case hearing and can also request an exemption from the appearance when necessary. Despite this, we do not believe that there is a basis for ordering the respondent to reimburse the petitioner’s travel expenses to Mangaluru based on the financial circumstances of the parties as they currently stand. However, if she wishes to seek compensation for expenses, she may do so by applying with the appropriate court, which will be considered on its own merits.
We do not believe this is a suitable case for exercising power under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution, despite the parties’ good faith. The judgments relied on by the respondent’s learned counsel are distinguishable, as in those cases, there was adequate evidence on file, and the cause on which the marriage was dissolved in the exercise of power under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution was an irretrievable breakdown of marriage, which is not a ground for dissolution of marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
We do not believe the current petition has substance for the reasons stated above. As a result, the same is dismissed.
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