BHANU CHOWDHURY Vs. DR. NARAYAN CHANDRA CHOWDHURY
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Dr. Narayan Chandra Chowdhury
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Anil K. Sen, J. -
(1.) In this revisional application the plaintiff in the matrimonial suit being Matrimonial suit No. 75 of 1982 in the Additional Dist. Judge, Barasat is challenging an order dated March 7, 1983 passed by the Additional Dist. Judge. By the order impugned the learned Additional Dist. Judge has rejected the plaintiffs application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
(2.) The plaintiff Bhanu Chowdhury filed the aforesaid matrimonial suit under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act. Having filed the suit she filed an application under S 24 for interim relief contemplated by the said provisions. The respondent in contesting the application stoutly denied that the plaintiff was ever married with the respondent. Such relationship having been denied the learned Additional District Judge seems to have taken the view that the involved issue cannot be decided in a summary proceeding arising out of an application under S 24 and in that view he has rejected the application. That is the order now being challenged before us. Having heard the learned Advocates and having considered the facts it appears clear to us that the learned Additional District Judge has failed to appreciate the true legal requirement for disposal of an application under S 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act. If the denial of relationship by itself is a good ground of refusing the relief under Section 24 then in no time the said statutory provision in the Hindu Marriage Act will be rendered nugatory by a bare pleading denying the relationship. True indeed the Section 24 contemplates the relief in favour of a married spouse and therefore, the relationship is one of the requirement for granting the relief. But at the stage of disposing of the application under Section 24 of the Act the Court is not required to dispose of the issue finally. What is required by the Court is to find out prima facie existence of such relationship.
(3.) In a case wherein the relationship is denied, as in the present case, the court is required to take evidence including the evidence as to the conduct of the parties and if it is prima facie established that the parties were living as husband and wife or the marriage is otherwise prima facie established the application under S 24 can be allowed and should as a matter of fact be allowed It would be travesty of the justice to hold that such an issue cannot be decided in summary proceeding under Section 24. The court is not called upon to decide the issue finally and conclusively between the parties, which may be so decided at the trial of the suit. But if the applicant prima facie, establishes the relationship she is entitled to relief under Section 24. Hence, the revisional application is allowed and the impugned order being set aside, the application under S 24 is remanded back, to the learned Additional District judge for re-consideration on the evidence in the light of our decision made herein. Let the order be communicated to the court below. Let the application be disposed of at an early date.;
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