Custody of child who is citizen of USA

Dispute between Parents of the child and mother removed the child to India. Mother approaching family court at New Delhi, India and Father at Illinois, USA.

Mother/appellant and minor child are presently in New Delhi and the appellant has no intention to return to her matrimonial home in the U.S.A. The appellant has apprehensions and serious reservations on account of her past experience in respect of which we do not think it necessary to dilate in this proceedings. That is a matter to be considered by the Court of Competent Jurisdiction called upon to decide the issue of dissolution of marriage and/or grant of custody of the minor child, as the case may be. For the time being, we may observe that the parties must eschew from pursuing parallel proceedings in two different countries. For, the first marriage between the parties was performed in New Delhi as per Anand Karaj Ceremony and Hindu Vedic rites on 31st October, 2010 and the petition for dissolution of marriage has been filed in New Delhi. Whereas, the civil marriage ceremony on 19th March, 2011 at Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, USA, was performed to complete the formalities for facilitating the entry of the appellant into the US and to obtain US Permanent Resident status. It is appropriate that the proceedings pending in the Family Court at New Delhi are decided in the first place including on the question of jurisdiction of that Court. Depending on the outcome of the said proceedings, the parties will be free to pursue such other remedies as may be permissible in law before the Court of Competent Jurisdiction. Continue reading “Custody of child who is citizen of USA”

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Transfer of Matrimonial Dispute at the behest of Wife

Is video conferencing is an alternative to transfer of proceedings?

Power to transfer any proceedings from one court in India to another is vested in the Supreme Court under article 19-A of the Constitution. Similar powers are conferred by Section 25 of Civil Procedure Code. In an earlier case, Supreme Court opined that video conferencing could be a good alternative instead of transfer. It observed:

One cannot ignore the problem faced by a husband if proceedings are transferred on account of genuine difficulties faced by the wife. The husband may find it difficult to contest proceedings at a place which is convenient to the wife. Thus, transfer is not always a solution acceptable to both the parties. It may be appropriate that available technology of videoconferencing is used where both the parties have equal difficulty and there is no place which is convenient to both the parties. We understand that in every district in the country videoconferencing is now available. In any case, wherever such facility is available, it ought to be fully utilised and all the High Courts ought to issue appropriate administrative instructions to regulate the use of videoconferencing for certain category of cases. Matrimonial cases where one of the parties resides outside court’s jurisdiction is one of such categories. Wherever one or both the parties make a request for use of videoconferencing, proceedings may be conducted on videoconferencing, obviating the needs of the party to appear in person. In several cases, this Court has directed recording of evidence by video conferencing.

Continue reading “Transfer of Matrimonial Dispute at the behest of Wife”

Transfer of matrimonial proceedings: Use video conferencing instead.

Forum Non Conveniens.

The doctrine of forum non conveniens can be applied in matrimonial proceedings for advancing interest of justice. Under the said doctrine, the court exercises its inherent jurisdiction to stay proceedings at a forum which is considered not to be convenient and there is any other forum which is considered to be more convenient for the interest of all the parties at the ends of justice.

In Spiliada Maritime (1986)3 All ER 843 case the House of Lords laid down the following principle:

“The fundamental principle applicable to both the stay of English proceedings on the ground that some other forum was the appropriate forum and also the grant of leave to serve proceedings out of the jurisdiction was that the court would choose that forum in which the case could be tried more suitably for the interest of all the parties and for the ends of justice.”

The criteria to determine which was a more appropriate forum, for the purpose of ordering stay of the suit, the court would look for that forum with which the action had the most real and substantial connection in terms of convenience or expense, availability of witnesses, the law governing the relevant transaction and the places where the parties resided or carried on business. If the court concluded that there was no other available forum which was more appropriate than the English court, it would normally refuse a stay. If, however, the court concluded that there was another forum which was prima facie more appropriate, the court would normally grant a stay unless there were circumstances militating against a stay. It was noted that as the dispute concerning the contract in which the proper law was English law, it meant that England was the appropriate forum in which the case could be more suitably tried. Continue reading “Transfer of matrimonial proceedings: Use video conferencing instead.”