Sunday 12 April 2009
Source: Time of India.
MUMBAI — A Parsi couple, married for 40 years, is fighting a legal battle for divorce in the Bombay High Court which has asked both life partners to settle their dispute amicably without any further bitterness.
Roshan Cooper (74) has sought Rs 2 crore ($ 40,000) lump sum alimony from her 80-year-old husband, Dadi Eruchshaw, for alleged mental and physical torture and harassment caused to her.
Adjourning the matter to April 16, justice S.C. Dharmadhikari, observed recently: «I expect from plaintiff (Roshan) and defendant (Dadi), who are admittedly senior citizens, a reasonable approach and if at all they find it impossible to continue after marriage they must endeavour and have it dissolved mutually without any further acrimony and bitterness».
This is the first such case in legal history where partners have sought divorce after four decades of marriage, claimed Dadi’s counsel Vivek N Kantawala.
The bone of contention between the couple is a brick wall connecting their adjacent flats in a building at Byculla in central Mumbai.
Earlier, a wooden door joined both flats but Roshan replaced it with a brick construction, saying it was for her safety.
«I am 74 and not keeping good health. The torture has increased after the divorce suit. I have filed police complaint but no action has been taken», Roshan alleged.
Hearing Dadi’s plea that his articles had been taken away by his wife, the court had appointed an officer to visit their flats and identify their things. Also, it allowed Dadi to take away his articles if they were found lying in Roshan’s flat. One flat is owned by Dadi and the other by Roshan.
The officer has been asked to file a report on April 16. «She not only caused financial loss to me but also mental agony by her arbitrary step. Roshan is not staying in her flat and may be with our son whose whereabouts I do not know», Dadi said.
Roshan alleged that she had been subjected to mental and physical cruelty. She initially claimed Rs 20,000 ($ 400) per month as maintenance but later sought Rs 2 crore ($ 40,000) as lump sum alimony.
She claimed Dadi was getting Rs 50,000 ($ 1,000) monthly pension from a shipping company where he worked before his retirement and had additional Rs 20,000 ($ 400) income from investments in shares and fixed deposits, a statement strongly denied by Dadi.
The suit for divorce has been filed in Parsi chief matrimonial court. But the Bombay High Court is hearing the matter because it alone has the jurisdiction over Parsi matrimonial court.