Divorce given by foreign court is conclusive under Indian law

Divorce given by foreign court is conclusive under Indian law

Once a decree of divorce is granted by a foreign Court after the parties submit to its jurisdiction and contest the case, the marriage stands validly dissolved, the Bombay High Court has held.

"As such nothing further survives in the marriage. Therefore the conjugal rights cannot be restituted and hence the petition for conjugal rights or even any other petition cannot proceed and must be dismissed as infructuous," ruled Justice Roshan Dalvi recently.

The Judge observed this while quashing an order of a family court in India which had dismissed husband's petition for rejecting wife's plea for restitution of conjugal rights.
"It is an abuse of legal process to adjudicate upon matters already decided by foreign Courts which are conclusive under the Indian Laws," Justice Dalvi noted and set aside the family court's order of July 31.

In this case, the parties were residing in the state of Texas in the US when the wife submitted to the jurisdiction of the Judicial District Court of Harris County.
Kaustubh Sudhir Mestry and Praveena Lakshmanan married in 2006 and moved to the US thereafter. They lived there together until 2010.

In the meantime, they had disputes. While residing there, the husband filed the petition for divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage and also cruelty.

The wife filed a counter claim wherein she contested the charge of cruelty. She also consented to the interim order passed by signing the interim order herself and also by her attorney. She further consented to the grant of relief by that court, Justice Dalvi observed.

"This being the law, the impugned order of the Family Court in India would deserve to be interfered with. Though it is seen that the learned Judge has painstakingly considered the law relating to conclusiveness of foreign judgments, the view taken by the Judge in the impugned order seems to be erroneous," the High Court observed.

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