Deepak V. Kovoor vs Dr.Priya Thomas on 23 February, 2022

Introduction

On February 23, 2022, the High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam delivered a judgment in the case of Deepak V. Kovoor vs. Dr. Priya Thomas. The case revolved around a dispute concerning medical examinations and allegations made by Dr. Priya Thomas against her husband, Deepak, regarding his health conditions and their impact on their marriage.

Background

The petitioner, Deepak, aged 49, had been living separately from his wife, Dr. Priya Thomas, aged 39. Dr. Priya had filed a petition for divorce in 2016 (O.P (Div) No.560 of 2016) at the Family Court in Pathanamthitta. During the proceedings, she moved an interlocutory application (I.A. No.2337 of 2019) requesting that Deepak undergo a medical examination to substantiate her claims that he suffered from Hypogonadism, Erectile Dysfunction, and Non-ejaculation. The Family Court allowed this application, but Deepak challenged this order in the High Court, which dismissed his petition on June 10, 2020.

Key Arguments

The primary argument from Deepak’s side was his willingness to comply with the medical examination as directed by the court, as shown by his submission on October 21, 2021. He filed an application (I.A No.4 of 2021) expressing his readiness to undergo the medical tests. However, Dr. Priya countered by asserting that Deepak had been undergoing medical treatments and had managed his basic sexual disorders and other health issues. The Family Court dismissed Deepak’s petition, stating that he was attempting to delay the proceedings.

Court’s Observations

The High Court noted that the Family Court should not take any adverse inference against Deepak based solely on his non-appearance before the Medical Board. The Court emphasized that any adverse inference could only be drawn after considering Deepak’s explanation for not appearing for the medical examination. It was pointed out that the respondent, Dr. Priya, in her counter affidavit, did not emphasize the necessity for the medical examination at that stage.

Court’s Decision

The High Court decided not to interfere with the Family Court’s order, allowing the case to proceed without taking immediate adverse actions against Deepak for his non-appearance. The Court directed that if the Family Court considered taking any adverse inferences, it should do so only after evaluating Deepak’s reasons for his non-appearance. The Court granted Deepak a one-week extension to appear before the Family Court and rescheduled the trial accordingly.

Conclusion

The case of Deepak V. Kovoor vs. Dr. Priya Thomas highlights the judiciary’s balanced approach in handling matrimonial disputes involving allegations of medical conditions. The High Court’s decision to allow the proceedings to continue without immediate adverse actions against Deepak underscores the importance of fair trial practices. Both parties were given an opportunity to present their cases fully, ensuring that justice is served while considering the sensitivities involved in matrimonial conflicts.

Ref: https://indiankanoon.org//doc/119364053/

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