Contested divorce cases in India take many years. By the time the final verdict is given either ways, the parties have already lost out on their prime years of life.
Most often, such contested divorce cases are only an ego battle after the couple has been separated for some years. Even if there is no possibility of co-habitation, one of the spouses endlessly drags the case ‘to settle score’ with the other.
One of the main factors of delay in cases is adjournments and not following timelines to end a case. Addressing this issue, the Delhi High Court in its recent order dated August 10, 2023 has ordered costs on either party that takes adjournment or does not conclude arguments within the timeframe in the trial court.
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The Delhi High Court was hearing a matrimonial matter, wherein the husband approached court seeking one week’s time to file additional affidavit in the trial court.
On the other hand, the wife pointed out that the Trial Court had remarked on her husband’s was non-cooperative conduct in the matter.
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Delhi High Court
A Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Krishna Bansal were hearing the said case.
Though the said divorce petition was not before the High Court, however, in the interest of justice, the bench directed the Trial Court to proceed in the divorce petition pending before it and conclude the same within three months from the date of this order.
The High Court also ordered costs in case either party tries to drag the matter beyond the final timeline. The bench ordered:
It is made clear that if any of the parties seeks adjournment before the learned Trial Court, the same shall be granted subject to payment of cost of Rs 25,000/-.
It is further made clear that if any of the parties does not lead evidence or does not cross-examine the witnesses, the same shall be subject to payment of cost of Rs.50,000/-.
The matter was re-notified to be heard at the Delhi High Court for November 2023.
READ JUDGMENT | Interim Maintenance, Child Custody; Delhi HC Sets Timeframe To Dispose Off Matrimonial Matters
Voice For Men India Opinion:
- In our opinion, the Delhi High Court has set the ball rolling and we need many such Judges who will address the crux of the problem
- Many may argue that implementation still remains a challenge, however at least, this can be seen as a start, where the onus is on both parties to complete the arguments in the divorce petition within a timeframe
- Most often what happens in matrimonial cases is that after the interim maintenance is granted to the estranged wife, she fails to conclude the final arguments in the main divorce petition and after some years files a new ‘enhancement of maintenance’ application
- Frivolous questions are posed by the wife’s lawyer only with an aim to drag the matter endlessly, keep receiving monthly maintenance, thereby, lingering on the divorce petition
- On the other hand, because there is no end to the contested divorce proceedings, men too start playing around trying to evade maintenance or hide their respective incomes
- The only way to meet justice in both scenarios is time-bound closure of divorce cases, where both parties can move on in their respective directions, without harassing the other or wasting precious time of the honourable courts
Hold Back Wife’s Salary Until She Hands Over Daughter’s Custody To Husband | Karnataka High Court
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READ ORDER | Delhi High Court Orders Costs On Either Parties If They Take Adjournments Or Fail To Conclude Arguments In Divorce Matter— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) September 4, 2023
▪️Voice For Men India: It's high time that all Judges levy huge costs on either party who wastes time of the courthttps://t.co/2cPuOofYjG
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