Piyush Vijay Kumar Chopra vs. Rohan Pramod Kumar Khanna

The case of Piyush Vijay Kumar Chopra vs. Rohan Pramod Kumar Khanna, adjudicated on February 24, 2023, by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, involves critical issues related to interim maintenance and modification of consent terms in a matrimonial dispute. The hearing was presided over by Justice Amit Borkar.

Background

Piyush Vijay Kumar Chopra, the petitioner, challenged the common order passed by the Principal Judge, Family Court, Mumbai, which addressed applications related to interim maintenance and modification of consent terms. The petitioner sought to set aside these orders on the grounds of procedural lapses and lack of due consideration. The case highlights significant aspects of matrimonial law, including financial support and custodial arrangements.

Key Arguments

Petitioner’s Arguments

The petitioner, represented by Mr. Jatin Sehgal and his legal team, argued that the Family Court’s order on interim maintenance was flawed due to the respondent’s failure to file an affidavit of assets and liabilities, as required by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Rajnesh vs. Neha. Additionally, the petitioner contended that she was not granted an opportunity to be heard before the interim maintenance order was passed. She also sought to modify the consent terms based on subsequent events and communications from the respondent.

Respondent’s Arguments

The respondent, represented by Mr. Vedchetan Patil, opposed the petition, arguing that the Family Court’s orders were justified and that the petitioner’s claims lacked merit. The respondent emphasized that the consent terms should remain in effect and that the interim maintenance order was based on available information and legal precedents.

Court’s Observations

Justice Amit Borkar observed that the respondent had indeed failed to file the required affidavit of assets and liabilities, a critical procedural requirement as per the Apex Court’s guidelines. The court also noted that the petitioner was not granted a proper hearing before the interim maintenance decision, which compromised the fairness of the proceedings. Regarding the modification of consent terms, the court examined the parameters laid out by the Supreme Court in Ashish Ranjan vs. Anupam Tandon and other relevant cases, emphasizing the welfare of the child as the paramount consideration.

Court’s Decision

The court set aside the Family Court’s order regarding interim maintenance and remanded the proceedings back to the Principal Judge, Family Court, for a fresh decision in accordance with the Supreme Court’s guidelines. The court directed the Family Court to decide the application for interim maintenance within eight weeks from the appearance of the parties, ensuring that the respondent continues to pay Rs. 20,000 per month to the petitioner until the final decision.

Regarding the modification of consent terms, the court upheld the Family Court’s decision, finding no grounds for illegality or miscarriage of justice. The court emphasized that the consent terms conferred necessary visitation rights to the husband, and there was no evidence that these terms were detrimental to the welfare of the child.

Conclusion

The decision in Piyush Vijay Kumar Chopra vs. Rohan Pramod Kumar Khanna underscores the importance of procedural fairness and adherence to judicial guidelines in matrimonial disputes. By setting aside the interim maintenance order and remanding the case for a fresh decision, the court ensured that both parties’ rights were protected. The ruling also reinforced the principle that the welfare of the child remains the paramount consideration in matters of custody and visitation.

Ref: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/37492215/

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