The Karnataka HC has said under Justice M Nagaprasanna in Latha Choodiah v. Shree Balaji H. (Writ Petition No. 11172 of 2019) that remarriage of former Husband cannot be a ground to question the settlement arrived between the couple after the issues were settled before the court and decree of divorce was granted.
The petitioner and the respondent got married on 13-08-2006. Later, the respondent institutes proceedings for the annulment of marriage on several grounds and soon the annulment of marriage or separation was agreed to between the parties and a sum of Rs. 30,00,000/- (Rupees Thirty Lakhs only) was to be paid by the respondent as permanent alimony in full and final settlement for such annulment. After the annulment of marriage happens and the decree was drawn up, since the respondent had become free, he marries another lady and starts to live with the second wife. It is then, the petitioner who was the former wife, began to ‘create problems’ to the respondent by registering a complaint before the jurisdictional police and also threatening the respondent with dire consequences. On such instances, the respondent approaches the civil Court seeking permanent restraint upon the petitioner from trespassing into the residence of the respondent. At the same time the petitioner institutes proceedings before the Karnataka State Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Commission, Bangalore making certain allegations. Immediately thereafter, a complaint comes to be registered by the petitioner against the respondent for several offences under the IPC. After all these proceedings having failed to secure any order in her favour, the petitioner files the subject writ petition calling in question the memorandum of settlement and the decree that was drawn up.
The bench noted that “Clause 4 of the settlement reads about the agreement between the parties for permanent alimony to be given to the wife at Rs.30,00,000/- and a demand draft was to be handed over to the petitioner. It was also undertaken that the parties would not interfere with the lives of each other in future.”
The bench rejected the contention of the woman that the settlement arrived at mediation was by misleading or by force. The bench referred to the order sheet and said “Both parties and counsel are present before the Court and Mediation report is placed before the Court. On enquiry both the parties stated that terms of Mediation report are known to them. Both parties stated that court may record the same and proceed further. Rs.30,00,000/- DD bearing No.971907 of Citi Bank given by the petitioner to respondent as per mediation settlement. It is then when the court draws up the decree.”
The allegations between the wife and the husband may be manifold. Once the issue is settled before the Court and after the Court recording settlement of parties, merely because the 18 respondent re-marries, the petitioner cannot be seen to call in question the settlement itself on whatsoever ground except, it being a fraud.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY VAISHNAVI SINGH