The Bombay High Court held that a wife has no right to impede the sale of a flat owned by the husband if the husband provided similar alternative accommodation in the vicinity.

The Bench of Justice Amit Borkar observed that “It is well settled that the wife has a right to lead similar life style as that of the husband. However, she has no right to impede sale of flat owned by husband if husband provides similar alternative accommodation in vicinity. If husband is ready to provide alternative rental accommodation having similar advantages, she cannot refuse it on the ground that she is habituated in the existing flat.”

Advocate Abhijit Sarwate appeared for the petitioner and Advocate Mohit Bhardwaj appeared for the respondent.

In this case, Writ Petition was preferred against the order of the Family High Court whereby the respondent husband was permitted to sell his flat and had directed the petitioner-wife to choose an alternative house since the husband could not pay the EMI for the house, she was residing in along with two daughters.

The Couple got married in 1996 and Divorce proceedings were initiated wherein the husband had filed an application and had offered 2BHK rental flat to the wife and daughters as he was not able to meet the EMI obligation of bank for the home load of the house in which resided along with the daughters and was not able to bear the expenses of two household.

The application was opposed by the wife on the ground that the he had raised mortgage loan to purchase shares and it was his plan to oust wife from the matrimonial home and further denied that the husband is facing financial crisis.

The Court asked the husband to file an undertaking wherein it was stated that he would be paying the rent for alternative premises on monthly basis.

The Court rejected the contentions of the wife and said that the husband never had the intention of evicting her wife out of the matrimonial home but to shift her to any alternate accommodation in the same vicinity.

“The material on record shows that the husband has continued to pay EMI of suit premises even after separation of petitioner and respondent. This indicates that the intention of husband is not to evict petitioner from suit premises but to shift her to alternative accommodation which is suitable for her.” said the Court.

The Court further observed that “The undertaking dated January 13, 2023 takes care of rights of wife. The husband has been made aware of the consequences for breach of this undertaking. Hence, in my opinion, the equitable order passed by the Family Court needs no interference.

The Court further said that permission to sell the disputed flat was required to be granted and the offer by husband to the wife to select any property up to rent of Rs.40,000/-, subject to condition that she vacates the suit premises was a bonfide order.

Accordingly, the Writ Petition was dismissed.

Cause Title- Rashi Manish Singal v. Manish Om Prakash Singal

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