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Direction to file affidavit of assets, income and expenditure to be filed by both the parties in matrimonial cases.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

Date of Decision: 29th May, 2017
FAO 369/1996 & CM 15083/2014

KUSUM SHARMA ….. Appellant Through: None.
versus
MAHINDER KUMAR SHARMA ….. Respondent

Through: Mr. Rahul Sharma, Ms. Jyoti Dutt Sharma, Mr. C.K. Bhatt, Advocates.

Mr. Sunil Mittal, Senior Advocate as amicus curiae with Mr. Dhruv Grover,Advocate.

Ms. Anu Narula, Advocate as amicus curiae.

CORAM:HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE J.R. MIDHA
JUDGMENT (ORAL)

1. Vide order dated 14th January, 2015, this Court formulated the affidavit of assets, income and expenditure to be filed by both the parties in matrimonial cases. This Court had directed the Courts below to send their response to the working of the guidelines as well as their suggestions.

2. The Family Courts have sent their response as well as suggestions with respect to the affidavit of assets, income and expenditure. Mr. Sunil Mittal and Ms. Anu Narula, learned amici curiae have also given valuable suggestions.

3. Upon careful consideration of the suggestions received from the Family Courts and the learned amici curiae, the format of the affidavit of assets, income and expenditure attached as Annexure ‘A’ to the order dated 14th January, 2015 is modified. The modified format of the assets, income and expenditure is Annexure A1 to this order.

4. Clause 19.4 of the order dated 14th January, 2015 is modified to the extent that the affidavit of assets, income and expenditure of the parties shall be in the format attached hereto as Annexure A1.

5. Clause 19.20 of the order dated 14th January, 2015 is modified to the extent that the procedure laid down in the order dated 14th January, 2015 shall also apply to cases under the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 and Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956.

6. Clauses 19.2 and 19.5 of the order dated 14th January, 2015 are clarified to the extent that the Family Courts and other Courts dealing with cases under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955; Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005; Section 125 Cr.P.C; Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956; Special Marriage Act, 1954; Indian Divorce Act, 1869; Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 and Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 shall incorporate the following endorsement in bold letters on the notice/summons to be issued to the respondent :-

“Note :- The respondent is directed to file the affidavit of his assets, income and expenditure along with the documents within 30 days of the receipt of the notice. The affidavit shall be in format of Annexure A1 which can be downloaded from the following website: – ____________ (Give the link of website of District Courts/Family Courts).”

7. Clause 19.10 of the order dated 14th January, 2015 is modified to the extent that the wife seeking divorce but not claiming maintenance, may seek exemption from filing the affidavit along with the divorce petition. However, this does not preclude the Court from directing the parties to file the affidavit at a later stage of the proceedings.

8. Clause 19.17 of the order dated 14th January, 2015 is clarified to the extent that the interim litigation expenses being directed by the Family Courts at the stage of issuing notice, does not preclude the respondent from seeking further litigation expenses incurred by the respondent and the Courts shall consider the respondent’s claim for litigation expenses and pass an appropriate order on the merits of each case.

9. Annexure A1 i.e. modified format of affidavit of assets, income and expenditure be implemented w.e.f. 16th August, 2017. Annexure A1 i.e. the modified format of affidavit of assets, income and expenditure along with its Hindi translation be uploaded on the website of the District Courts/Family Courts by 1st August, 2017 to enable the lawyers and litigants to download the same. The Family Courts shall display Annexure A1 on their Notice board by 1st August, 2017 along with a notice that the affidavit of assets, income and expenditure in terms of the order dated 14th January, 2015 has to be in the format of Annexure A1 w.e.f. 16th August, 2017.

10. The Registrar General shall ensure that the Family Courts display Annexure A1 with its Hindi translation on their notice boards and the same is uploaded on the website of District Courts/Family Courts by 1st August, 2017; and the note mentioned in para 6 above is incorporated in the format of the notice/summons with the link of the website duly filled up.

11. List for reporting compliance on 13th September, 2017.

12. This Court appreciates the valuable assistance rendered by Mr. Sunil Mittal, Senior Advocate and Ms. Anu Narula, Advocate as amici curiae.

13. Copy of this judgment be sent to the Registrar General who shall circulate it to all the District Judges and Family Courts along with Annexure A1 i.e. modified format of the assets, income and expenditure and its Hindi translation.

14. Copy of this judgment along with the Annexure A1 be given dasti under the signatures of the Court Master to learned amici curiae.

MAY 29, 2017
J.R. MIDHA, J.

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