The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently allowed a wife’s petition for transfer of the petition filed by Respondent (husband) under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955 from the Court of Ms. Tripat Jot Kaur, Addl. Principal Judge, Family Court-II, Jalandhar to a court of competent jurisdiction at Chandigarh.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice Nidhi Gupta observed that “There can be no dispute that the preponderance of law in such like cases as the present one, leans towards the convenience of the wife”.

Advocate TS Grewal appeared for the Petitioner, whereas Advocate Pruvjyot Singh Sidana appeared for the Respondent.

In a nutshell, the parties were married in 2019 according to Sikh rites and rituals and although they lived together as husband and wife, they did not consummate the marriage. The Petitioner stated that after marriage, the Respondent and his family members started harassing her for more dowries. It was also alleged that several gruesome acts of cruelty were committed against her by the Respondent, his mother and sister. Later, the Respondent has filed the divorce petition at Jalandhar, whereas the Petitioner working as a Radiologist at Healing Hospital in Chandigarh and she had difficulty in travelling to Jalandhar in order to attend the proceedings. The Respondent, being a practicing Doctor of Medicine, and employed in Tagore Hospital, Jalandhar objected to the transfer of the divorce petition citing the nature of duties that he had to attend to. Hence, present petition seeking transfer.

After considering the submission, the High Court found that both the parties are doctors, and being educated, it was hoped that an amicable resolution of all their disputes would be reached by way of mediation.

However, the Court noted that the mediation between the parties has failed as per report submitted by the Mediator, Mediation and Conciliation Centre of this Court.

The Bench explained the well settled principle that while considering the transfer of a matrimonial dispute/case, at the instance of the wife, the Court is to consider the family condition of the wife, the custody of the minor child, economic condition of the wife, her physical health and earning capacity of the husband and most important the convenience of the wife i.e. she cannot travel alone without assistance of a male member of her family, connectivity of the place to and from her place of residence as well as bearing of the litigation charges and travelling expenses.

Accordingly, the Bench directed the petition filed by Respondent under Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act,1955, to be transferred from Jalandhar to a Court of competent jurisdiction at Chandigarh.

Cause Title: Dr. Seerat Kaur Bhatia v. Dr. Gurjyot Singh Nanda [Neutral Citation: 2023: PHHC: 074643]

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