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HC issues contempt notice to woman in divorce case

NEW DELHI: Delhi high court has issued a contempt notice against a woman who entered a settlement to separate but later refused to honour it.

Justice GS Sistani has asked her to explain why contempt proceedings shouldn’t be initiated against her for refusing to give effect to the agreement before a trial court hearing the divorce suit.

According to her husband Suresh who filed the contempt petition, the couple tied the knot in 2007 and went to live abroad. In 2008, they had a son and by 2009, the family returned to India because of matrimonial discord. Soon after, the husband filed for divorce, citing mental cruelty, while the wife lodged an FIR and invoked the Domestic Violence Act before a city magistrate.

To get the FIR quashed, the husband moved high court. Encouraged by the court, the couple entered into a settlement that envisaged Suresh paying around Rs 70 lakh as the full and final settlement of the dispute. The settlement mandated release of money in installments to meet the needs of maintaining the minor child, too. It was decided the husband would pay the first installment at the time of the first motion of divorce while the rest would be paid by the time the second motion was filed. Once the entire amount is paid, the high court said, the FIR would be quashed.

With the couple coming to a settlement, Suresh was granted anticipatory bail by HC.

The wife, however, failed to appear before the trial court on the due date. On the trial court’s prodding, the couple managed to sign the first motion nearly five months after the settlement was reached.

Faced with delay again on the part of the wife in signing for the second motion, Suresh once again moved the high court, pointing out this was just a ploy to ensure that criminal proceedings against him were kept alive. Finally, HC fixed a date for the wife to sign the second motion which, too, was ignored by her, prompting Suresh to seek contempt of court against her.


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