India’s contested divorce refers to a divorce process where one side is willing to end the marriage. This type of divorce is where the spouses fight each other in order to obtain the best outcome in a divorce proceeding. Therefore, it is important to hire the best divorce lawyer near me to help the parties represent their interests. This is a one-sided divorce in which the spouse who wants to end the marriage must prove the grounds.
Property Distribution under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955:
The Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Section 27, discusses the disposition of spousal property.
” The court can make such provisions in any proceeding under this Act as it considers appropriate with respect to any property that was presented at or around the time of marriage. This may include any property that may be jointly owned by the husband and wife.
In Pratibha Rani versus Suraj Kul and Anr ( 1985 SC 648), page 638, the Hon’ble Supreme Court stated that traditional gifts given to brides in Hindu weddings can be classified into three types:
Property reserved for the bride’s exclusive use, such as her jewelry and wearing apparel.
Articles of dowry that may be common to the matrimonial home and for enjoyment
Articles are given as gifts to the husband, the father-in-law, and other family members.
Another case involved Section 27 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955. The Supreme Court ruled that Section 27 provided an “alternative remedy” for the wife to file a suit for stridhan property. The husband refused to return it.
While discussing Section 27 in the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Balkrishna Ramchandra Kadam against Sangeeta Balkrishna Kadam, AIR 1997SC 3562, the Court noted that:
Jewelry and other properties of a divorcing wife
Section 27 does not limit the property that is granted to the wife upon marriage. It also includes property that was given to either spouse before or after marriage, as long as it is related to the marriage.
Properly construed, the expression “at or around the time of marriage” must include all such properties.
Before passing a decree against a husband, the Court must adjudicate on the matter of property. The Court cannot deny the claim of the wife because it lacks jurisdiction to decide upon the issue.
Section 27 of the Act does not apply to property that the husband or wife acquires during the subsistence of the marriage through their own efforts, and which is not presented at the time they are married.
Section 27 (Hindu Marriage Act), 1955; Section 406 (Indian Penal Code), 1860:
In the case stridhan property the title of such property remains with the wife, though the property may be in the possession of the husband or his family members. If the husband, or any member of his household, commits an offense such as misappropriating such property they will be punished under section 405 or 406 IPC.
It is not possible to state in any text or in the strict law for Hindus that these Acts remove the stridhan rights of women and, at best, they modify the stridhan concept. It does not affect or change in any way the criminal responsibility of the husband if it is proven that he has dishonestly misappropriated the stridhan of his wife.
Section 27 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 provides a civil solution. They are therefore not mutually exclusive, but coextensive, and in essence, differ in their content as well as their consequences.
Identifying Property Ownership
Many courts in India have noted that it is possible for property immovable property to be given to husbands by their families and deeds registered under his sole name.