[Matrimonial Disputes] SC: Women are Not Weaker than Men, Yet in Transfer Petitions, Wife’s Convenience is Paramount

Supreme Court Law Insider

Tanisha Rana

Published on: November 03, 2022 at 21:44 IST

On Thursday, the Supreme Court granted the wife’s request to have a matrimonial dispute moved from Pune to Patiala while taking her convenience into consideration.

The ruling was ultimately upheld by a bench consisting of Chief Justice of India (CJI) UU Lalit and Bela M Trivedi, despite strong opposition from the husband’s counsel, who contended that the wife was merely playing the “woman card.”

“I quite see the forceful submission made by you. Unfortunately, the ethos which has developed in this court is convenience of the wife is paramount,” the CJI remarked.

Although the CJI recognised that women could not be claimed to need travel companions in today’s world, he was not inclined to depart from the custom of favouring women’s convenience when resolving transfer petitions.

“We quite see that in today’s time you cannot say that female is the weaker sex and say that because they need protection they need a companion to travel. But at the same time this (giving preference to convenience of wife) has been the standard practice. Therefore, we will adopt that,” the bench underscored.

The husband’s attorney vehemently argued that the wife’s only defence was that she was a woman, and despite her high level of education and possession of a doctorate, she claimed that she required a companion to travel with her to Pune.

“She is highly educated, she is perfectly fit and fine. She is a PhD holder. Why she needs someone to accompany her to Pune? Moreover, why does she need a person in her life who doesn’t want to live with her?”, argued the husband’s lawyer.

The bench noted that if she could travel to Pune, the husband could also travel to Patiala, but it was not persuaded to depart from the accepted legal precedent.

The lawyer continued by saying that if the petition is granted, it would set a bad precedent and all women would use it as a card.

“Sometimes even men should be heard!”

However, the Court ruled that it would not depart from the established practice.

The petition was allowed as a result.

In matrimonial disputes, courts all around the nation have repeatedly emphasised that the convenience of the wife should always take precedence.

Most recently, the Delhi High Court stated that it was established practise to prioritise the wife’s convenience in these situations.

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