By LE Desk

Mumbai, April 22: A woman cannot be restrained from pursuing her case in a foreign country when she and her estranged husband are already before a foreign court for partial settlement of the issues between them, a family court at Bandra held recently and dismissed a petition filed by an information technology (IT) graduate.

The IT graduate had last year approached the family court for divorce on the ground of cruelty and adultery. Along with the divorce petition, he had also moved an application seeking to restrain his wife from filing a divorce petition before the court in Australia and also to restrain her from pursuing other cases filed before an Australian court, the Hindustan Times reported.

The couple has been residing out of the country for the past 10 years and now are permanent residents of Australia. Both are presently residing in Australia. However, the husband has filed a divorce petition before the family court in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, the wife has approached the court in Australia for disclosure of properties of the parties for distribution of assets among them. However, before the filing of the respective litigations, the couple had already signed consent terms with regards to the custody of their child before the Family Relationship Centre, a government institution in Australia, according to the Hindustan Times.

The wife’s lawyer Shraddha Dalvi had opposed the plea contending that the husband had already submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the Australian court, therefore it was not open for him to seek restraint against the wife at Mumbai.

The family court after perusal of the case record observed, “On perusal of documents, it is very apparent that not only respondent (wife) but the petitioner (husband) had subjected himself to the jurisdiction of the court at Australia, but they have agreed for parenting plan before the institution or agency of Australian Government.”

“So, in this background, it is not proper for the petitioner to question the jurisdiction of the court at Australia, when he has subjected to the order of Australian court and he has obtained consent order from the said court even before presentation of this petition or even before presentation of the petition filed by wife in an Australian court,” said the family court at Bandra.

The court further held, “Both the parties reside in Australia when the child is in Australia when most of the properties are in Australia, a petitioner cannot say that without there been a divorce, Australian court would divide assets and liabilities of the parties. He can initiate a similar proceeding for divorce on the ground similar to Hindu Marriage Act and the decree would be valid if it fulfils requirements of the Civil Procedure Code.”

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