Title: Vivek Kumar & Ors. v. State & Anr.
Decided on: 27th July, 2023
+ CRL.M.C. 5205/2023
CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE DINESH KUMAR SHARMA
The Delhi High Court has issued a directive regarding the drafting of matrimonial settlement deeds, emphasizing that they should not be on printed proforma. In a case related to a matrimonial dispute, the court expressed its concern about settlement agreements being mechanically drafted on printed forms and directed Mediation Centres and Family Courts to ensure proper drafting of settlement deeds.
The case pertains to a petition filed under Section 482 of the Cr.PC seeking the quashing of a case registered under Sections 498A/406/34 IPC and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The petitioner and respondent got married in 2015, but differences and disputes led to their separation. An FIR was filed by the wife, and during the proceedings, the parties entered into an amicable settlement through a deed. The divorce was granted, and the husband made a payment of Rs. 2,50,000/- as per the settlement terms.
Advocates Sanjeev Kumar, Wahid Ali, and Ram Kamal Prasad represented the petitioners, while APP Digam Singh Dagar and Advocate Aman Srivastava appeared for the respondents.
Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma, in the context of dealing with matrimonial disputes, expressed dissatisfaction with the common practice of drafting settlement agreements using printed proforma. The court believed that such proforma-based drafting lacked proper application of mind and conveyed a sense of mechanical processing. In line with this, the court directed Mediation Centres and Family Courts to ensure that settlement deeds are not drafted on printed proforma and should reflect proper consideration.
The High Court observed that the parties had entered into an amicable settlement without any force, fear, or coercion, thereby deciding to conclude the proceedings and move forward with their lives. Considering the voluntary settlement and the divorce decree already granted, the court found no purpose in continuing the trial.
The court emphasized the need for settlement deeds to adhere to the judgment in the case of Ganesh vs. Sudhirkumar Shrivastava (2020) 20 SCC 787, which sets standards for drafting settlement deeds. The court directed the circulation of its judgment to all Mediation Centres and Family Courts, urging them to draft settlement deeds that demonstrate proper application of mind and alignment with the mentioned legal precedent.
Consequently, the Delhi High Court disposed of the petition.
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Written by- Ankit Kaushik