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Udita Nabha vs Ranjeet Nabha on 16 July, 2018

NON-REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 6695-6697 OF 2018
(ARISING OUT OF THE SLP (C) NOS. 22343-22345 OF 2017)

UDITA NABHA …APPELLANT (s)

VERSUS

RANJEET NABHA …RESPONDENT(S)

JUDGMENT

N. V. RAMANA, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. These appeals are filed against the interim order dated
25.04.2017 in Civil Application No. 78 of 2017 in FCA No.
216 of 215 along with Civil Application No. 178 of 2016 in
FCA No. 232 of 2015 and order dated 06.07.2017 in Review
Petition No. 5 of 2017 in Civil Application 78 of 2017 passed
by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay.

3. It would be necessary to observe the litigation history of this
case, in order to appreciate the case at hand. Appellant (wife)

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and respondent (husband) were married under the
provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 way back in the
year 1995. The couple was blessed with a girl child in the
year 2003. As there was matrimonial discord between
appellant (wife) and respondent (husband), appellant (wife)
filed a petition under Section 27(1)(d) of the Special Marriage
Act, 1954, being M.J. Petition No. A-2400 of 2011 before the
Family Court in Mumbai.

4. In the aforesaid divorce petition, the Appellant, inter alia,
sought permanent alimony of Rs. 30,00,00,000/- and
interim maintenance of Rs. 3,50,000/- for herself and Rs.
2,50,000/- for her minor daughter. It is to be noted that the
Family Court, by order dated 21.10.2013, partly allowed the
appellant’s application for interim maintenance and directed
the respondent to pay Rs. 2,00,000/- per month for the
appellant (wife) and Rs. 1,00,000/- per month for the minor
daughter. The order of trial court granting interim
maintenance was sustained by the appellate courts
thereafter.

5. Thereafter, the Family Court by a final order and judgment,
dated 14.09.2015, in M.J. Petition No. A-2400 of 2011, inter
alia, while granting the divorce to the petitioner, provided for
the permanent alimony, in the following manner –

4.The respondent shall pay lumpsum
permanent alimony of Rs. 6 Crores for
the petitioner and Rs. 5 crores for their
daughter Naia, within three months from
the date of decree.

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5. Out of the above mentioned Rs. 5
Crores, the petitioner shall keep the
amount of Rs. 3.5 Crores in fixed Deposit
with any nationalized bank in the name
of minor child Naia for a period of 5
years.

6. The petitioner is not entitled to withdraw
above amount of Fixed deposit of Rs.

3.5 Crores in the name of minor
daughter without the permission of the
Court during the minority of child.

6. It may be relevant to note that both parties preferred
appeals, before the High Court, against the aforesaid order of
the Family Court, being FCA No. 216 of 2015 and 232 of
2015. The High Court, by order dated 09.03.2016, has
issued notice in both appeals filed by parties herein and the
same is pending.

7. In the meanwhile, respondent filed a Civil Application No.
385 of 2015 in FCA No. 216 of 2015, seeking, inter alia, stay
of the implementation of the final order, so far as it relates to
the permanent alimony, granted by the Family Court. On
04.05.2016, the High Court, while considering the interim
stay sought by the respondent, tentatively allowed his
counsel to seek instruction on the deposit, in the following
manner-

Clause 4 of the impugned decree is a
money decree. If Applicant wants his
prayer for stay and grant of monthly
payment to be considered, the Applicant
must deposit a reasonable amount out of
the amount payable in terms of Clause 4.

Learned Senior Advocate for the Applicant

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seeks time to take instructions whether
the respondent can pay a reasonable
amount. We however, make it clear that
unless the Applicant deposits a reasonable
amount, his prayer for a grant of facility to
pay monthly amount will not be
considered on merits.

Further, by order dated 12.08.2016, The High Court while
granting a conditional stay, ordered as under-

Pending the hearing and final
disposal of Family Court Appeal No. 216
of 2015, execution of judgment and order
in Clauses (iv) and (v), passed by the
learned Family Court No.6 at Bandra,
Mumbai on 14th September, 2015 stands
stayed subject to applicant Ranjeet Nabha
depositing 75% of the amount as directed
by the Family Court in clauses (iv) and (v)
towards lumpsum permanent alimony in
favour of respondent Udita Nabha and
daughter Naia Nabha within three months
from today, with the Registry of this
Court.

On an appeal before this Court, by the respondent, in SLP
(C) No. 32082 of 2016, this Court, by Order dated
28.11.2016, while dismissing the special leave petition,
extended the time period for respondent to deposit the
money by further two months.

8. In view of the aforesaid order of this Court, the respondent,
accordingly, deposited the requisite money and complied
with the order.

9. Thereafter, the appellant (wife) filed an Application before
the High Court, being Civil Application No. 78 of 2017 in

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FCA No. 216 of 2015, seeking, inter alia, permission to
unconditionally withdraw a sum of Rs. 8.25 Crores
deposited by the respondent.

10. The High Court, by the final impugned order, dated
25.04.2017, while partly allowing the application, inter alia,
passed the following order-

(I) We direct the registry to invest a
sum of Rs. 1.125 crores in
separate fixed deposit with any
nationalized bank. While opening
the fixed deposit account,
instructions shall be given to the
Bank directing the Bank to
transfer the quarterly interest
accrued thereon directly to the
bank account of the applicant-wife.

We direct the applicant-wife to
furnish necessary account
particulars of her Bank account to
the Registrar (Judicial-I) within a
period of three weeks from the date
on which order is uploaded;

(II) The amount equivalent to 75% of
the sum of Rs. 3.5 Crores shall be
separately invested in fixed deposit
with any nationalized Bank. In the
event of any major change in
circumstances, it will be open for
the applicant-wife to apply to this
Court for seeking permission to
withdraw a part of the said amount
or interest accrued thereon;

(III) Rest of the amount deposited by
the respondent-husband in terms
of the order dated 12th August
2016 shall be invested in fixed
deposit in any nationalized bank;

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(IV) All fixed deposits shall be renewed
from time to time till further orders
are passed by the Court in Family
Court Appeal;

11. Further, the appellant (wife) filed a Review Petition No.
5 of 2017 in Civil Application No. 78 of 2017, seeking review
of the aforesaid order. The High Court, vide order dated
06.07.2017, dismissed the Review Petition filed by the
appellant (wife).

12. Aggrieved by the impugned order, the appellant (wife)
approached this Court through these appeals.

13. Heard the learned senior counsels appearing on behalf
of both parties and perused the material available on record.

14. Our attention was drawn to the fact that appellant
(wife) and the minor daughter were provided with Rs.
2,00,000/- per month and Rs. 1,00,000/- per month as
interim maintenance, but the aforesaid amount has been
substantially reduced and presently, the minor daughter is
only entitled for approximately Rs. 29,000/- per month, even
after being granted the permanent alimony by the Family
Court through the final order. Further, we are aware of the
fact that the appeals filed by both the parties are pending in
the High Court.

15. Although the learned senior counsel, appearing on
behalf of the respondent, has vehemently contended that
there was no requirement to grant any amount to the
petitioner (wife), as she was alleged to have sufficient means

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to maintain herself and her daughter, but we are not
impressed by such submissions on merits, as we are only
concerned with reasonability of conditions imposed for
granting stay. In this case at hand, we have to delicately
balance the interests of parties concerned, so that a party is
not unjustly denied of his rights on the one hand, at the
same time, interest of judgment-debtor during intra-appeal
is also not unjustly denied.

16. Learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the
petitioner, has limited the submissions to only a part of the
entire amount granted by the trial court, so as to maintain
herself and her child. Although we acknowledge the
respondent’s promise to provide for the child’s education in
the concerned institution, but we cannot lose track of the
fact that the appellant (wife) may require certain amount to
lead a comparable life and also provide for her child’s
comfort at the same time. Therefore, it is imperative on us to
protect her interests in this case at hand.

17. In view of pendency of appeals before the High Court,
any further indulgence at this stage is not required, except,
we deem it appropriate to modify the order of the High Court
to the extent that the appellant (wife) be allowed to withdraw
Rs. 2 Crores during intra-appeal as an interim measure.

18. Further, we request the High Court to expeditiously
dispose of the appeals. It is also made clear that we have not
expressed any views on the merits of this case and the High
Court is further requested to consider the case,
uninfluenced by any observations made herein.

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19. Accordingly, these appeals are disposed of.

…………………………….J.

(N.V. RAMANA)

…………………………….J.
(S. ABDUL NAZEER)
NEW DELHI,
July 16, 2018.

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