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Orissa HC Imposes ₹25K Cost On Wife For Suppressing Facts

In a recent judgment, the High Court of Orissa at Cuttack dismissed a writ petition seeking reconciliation between the parties in a matrimonial dispute.

The court, set aside an order passed by the Family Court, Jharsuguda, rejecting the petitioner’s application for further conciliation.

Furthermore, the court imposed a cost of Rs. 25,000 on the petitioner for misleading the court and suppressing material facts.

The case revolved around Dr. Tabindar Kaur, also known as Dr. Tabindra Kaur Chawla, who filed the writ petition seeking a direction to overturn the Family Court’s decision. The petitioner argued that the court failed to fulfill its duty of making every endeavor to bring about reconciliation between the parties, as mandated by Section 23(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and Rule 18 of the Family Courts (Court) Rules, 2010.

However, the respondent, Dr. Harindar Singh, contested the petitioner’s claims and highlighted the petitioner’s deceptive conduct. The respondent’s counsel argued that the petitioner conveniently omitted crucial information, such as the timeline fixed by the Supreme Court for the disposal of the civil proceeding and the provision for virtual appearances in light of the parties being medical professionals.

After carefully considering the arguments from both sides, Justice K.R. Mohapatra delivered the judgment.

The court noted that the petitioner had not approached the court with clean hands, suppressing material facts regarding the Supreme Court’s timeline and virtual appearances.

The court observed that the petitioner failed to cooperate with the Family Court’s attempts at conciliation and accused the petitioner of filing petitions solely to delay the proceedings and harass the respondent.

Justice Mohapatra emphasized that the statutory provisions and established precedents underscored the importance of reconciliation.

However, the court highlighted that “when parties do not cooperate with the court for reconciliation, the court is left with no choice but to proceed according to the law”.

The court further noted that the Family Court had not ruled out the possibility of conciliation during the trial.

In concluding the judgment, Justice Mohapatra imposed a cost of Rs. 25,000 on the petitioner for misleading the court and suppressing material facts. The court directed the petitioner to deposit the cost with the Family Court, Jharsuguda, before the completion of the trial.

“If the cost is not deposited, the Family Court is authorized to take necessary steps for its realization and payment to the respondent”, the court added.

Case No.: W.P.(C) No. 2348 of 2023

Bench: Justice K.R. Mohapatra

Order dated: 05.05.2023

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