NEW DELHI: For two decades, the Supreme Court had mostly acceded to requests of estranged wives to transfer matrimonial disputes to places of their convenience warranting the husbands to make long trips to attend court hearings.
The trend was reversed on Thursday by a bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice A K Sikri, which admitted that the court had been very lenient to the pleas of the wives to put the husbands to discomfiture.
“Estranged wives seeking transfer of cases, filed by husbands, to their places of residence has become the order of the day. We had become too liberal in acceding to their requests. But the husbands also have a right. Why the husbands should be always made to suffer,” the bench asked and indicated that it would from now on take into account merits of the husbands’ plea against such requests by wives seeking transfer of cases.
There had been a rising trend among women in matrimonial disputes to seek transfer of pending cases to places situated far away from the husbands’ places of work so as to inconvenience them the most.
The court had traditionally accepted the wives’ pleas given the social background where the estranged wife generally rushed to her parents’ home and that it would be difficult for the parents to foot the cost of travel and litigation cost at a far away place.
On Thursday, the court refused to transfer a matrimonial dispute from Ghaziabad to Betul at the wife’s request despite her counsel informing the court that she was a permanent resident of Betul in Madhya Pradesh.