New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that financial independence of wife cannot be a ground to frustrate her plea for shifting the divorce proceedings initiated by the husband.
A bench headed by Justice Gyan Sudha Misra made the observation while setting aside as "illegal" and "devoid of wisdom" an Andhra Pradesh High Court order refusing to transfer the divorce petition closer to her home on her plea.
The woman had sought the transfer of the case filed by her husband from Hyderabad to a family court in Kakinada in East Godavari district.
The High Court had rejected the woman`s plea, saying, "She is employed in a private sector firm as a company secretary and, therefore, it was not a case of a destitute woman depending on the charity of her parents and taking shelter in her parental house so as to allow the transfer of the divorce proceeding."
The bench observed that the "High Court appeared to have lost sight of the fact that the husband on the one hand has filed a divorce proceeding against the wife and further expects the same to be tried at a place of his choice".
"We find the approach of the High Court and the reasons assigned clearly unsustainable...The High Court refused to transfer it to the place where the wife is working on the ground that the petitioner-wife is not an indigent lady and she is capable of contesting the suit by undertaking journey from Kakinada to Hyderabad.
"The learned single judge has completely overlooked the implication of this view as on the one hand the appellant-wife would be expected to contest the divorce proceeding to her detriment and at the same time would have to undertake the journey from Kakinada to Hyderabad which is bound to affect discharge of her professional duties...
"Considering the implication of the aforesaid situation and circumstance, the view taken by the High Court refusing to transfer the case is fit to be struck down as illegal, devoid of practical fallout and wisdom," the bench observed while allowing the woman`s plea for transfer of the case to Kakinada.