Supreme Court rejects wife’s plea to live in fancy house with ex-husband

Husband was ready to pay rent, lawyer said (File)

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected claims by socialite Poonam Jaidev Shroff, embroiled in a bitter marital dispute with her industrial husband Jaidev Shroff, whether she be allowed to live with her ex-husband in their posh matrimonial home in Mumbai or qu ‘she be paid Rs. 35.37 Lakhs per month to stay on rent.

The higher court, which previously asked Poonam to select a house of his choice for rent in Mumbai, later ordered the clerk of Bandra Family Court in Mumbai to hire an architect from the panel of architects maintained by Bombay High Court to find suitable accommodation for her after her industrial husband agreed to pay rent of Rs 30 lakh per month in addition to interim maintenance of Rs 12 lakh.

In the order, a bench composed of Judges L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai took note of the rejection of the properties sought by the court-appointed architect for her and their daughter and called the approach “unreasonable”.

“In our opinion, stretching the word ‘similar’ as used in the ordinance of March 6, 2020 to be completely identical to said house would be unrealistic. It will be difficult to find a house identical to the said house with the same size, the same equipment and the same luxuries. “

“The word ‘similar’ should be interpreted as offering the same degree of luxury and comfort as that available in said home. We do not hesitate to note that the behavior of the respondent-wife on the one hand by not choosing any house according to her choice and on the other hand by rejecting all the properties, which were identified by the Architect, only at the ground that they are not similar and therefore not in accordance with the order … to say the least, is unreasonable, ”said Judge Gavai in the order.

He rejected Poonam Jaidev Shroff’s plea that she and her underage daughter would be allowed to move immediately into her ex-husband’s 82 Residence in Pali Hill.

“As already discussed …, if we allow prayer and allow the respondent-wife to move into said house, rather than serving the interests of the parties, it would be detrimental to their interests. The case and the duration of the criminal proceedings would show that the relations between the parties are so strained that if they are allowed to live in the said house, this will not lead to anything other than new criminal proceedings ”, indicates the order.

Dealing with the alternative prayer regarding the payment of Rs 35.37 lakhs per month as rent, he referred to a 2018 family court order.

The family court, by an elaborate order, after recording the details of the parties’ income, ordered the payment of interim alimony to the wife at the rate of Rs 7 lakhs per month and to the minor at the rate of Rs. 5 lakhs per month, he says.

“If prayer for payment of an amount is permitted, it will give an additional amount to the respondent-wife. This will be tantamount to awarding a much higher amount than that to which the Respondent Wife was entitled by the Family Court … We therefore conclude that the requested alternative relief cannot be granted either, ”he said. .

The supreme court, however, ordered the family court to speed up the process of the divorce petition which has been pending since 2015 and to settle it as quickly as possible.

“In the end, we do not find merit in the two applications for interim relief, and the same are rejected. However, we specify that in case, the respondent-wife decides to move to one of the goods mentioned in the list annexed to the report of the Architect of February 3, 2021 or she locates one of the rented premises according to her The appellant husband will pay the rent for said premises from the date on which these premises are leased.

“However, considering the fact that the highest rent for the properties identified by the architect is Rs. 30 lakhs per month, the appellant husband would be required to pay a maximum rent of Rs. 30 lakhs per month,” states order.

Earlier on March 6 last year, the highest court asked the Bombay High Court Registry to find a suitable home in Mumbai for socialite Poonam Jaidev Shroff.

Previously, the court had asked the woman to search for a house of her “choice” in the Bandra-Pali Hill neighborhood of Mumbai.

She said that instead of being invited to look for a house, her ex-husband would pay her a monthly rent of Rs 30 lakh.

Senior lawyer AM Singhvi, representing the husband, had said his client was willing to pay rent and was unwilling to pay cash instead of rent.

Mr Singhvi had said that Mr Shroff, the husband, had filed an FIR against his wife for allegedly attempting to administer drugs using orange juice with the help of a ‘Bengali Baba’ and even the indictment was filed in this case.

The other side vehemently denied the allegations.

Mr Singhvi had said he offered Rs 90 crore for the full and final settlement of the divorce dispute, but this was not agreed.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

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