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H.A. Harle Vs. N.H. Harle - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1937Cal303
AppellantH.A. Harle
RespondentN.H. Harle
Excerpt:
- .....this particular matter, of course under the system the husband has to provide in advance for the wife's costs. but that is not the real matter i am considering. the point here is this. the husband, the petitioner, is a man employed on rs. 150 a month. he says he has no objection to a transfer provided there is any possibility of his paying the cost of a suit in the high court, apart altogether from advancing the wife's costs.2. with regard to that advance, paying the wife's coats to her or into court, not only have i had my own experience, but i have consulted the registrar, and he says that in cases like this he thinks the proper amount to be paid would not be less than rs. 1,500, and that as regards the whole costs of a defended divorce suit on the original side, the amount would be.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Amber Ali, J.

1. This petition is the husband's petition. There was jurisdiction to file it in the District Court of Burdwan. It has been filed there. Under Section 8, Divorce Act, there is power to transfer it to this Court. Mr. Banerjee, on behalf of the wife (the respondent) has applied for such transfer. There is everything in favour of the transfer. The parties are both working in Calcutta. The respondent is employed in Calcutta in an office, and Mr. Banerjee tells me that she will have the greatest difficulty in going elsewhere; in fact, he went so far as to say that she would lose her employment if she has to go to Burdwan. I hope that is not the case. But the case would be more conveniently tried in Calcutta, and I should have had no hesitation in ordering a transfer except for the consideration I am about to mention. It is one of expenses. When I was at the Bar, I remember Judges saying that the matter of expanse and costs was not for them. I do not agree. More than half the matters I deal with are matters of expense and nothing else. More than 60 per cent, of the cases in the 'C' list, by the time they come before me, are simply a question as to who is to pay the coats. The parties cannot stop because of the costs already incurred. In my view, for what it is worth, to make justice expensive does not in any way reduce litigation on the contrary. Now, in this particular matter, of course under the system the husband has to provide in advance for the wife's costs. But that is not the real matter I am considering. The point here is this. The husband, the petitioner, is a man employed on Rs. 150 a month. He says he has no objection to a transfer provided there is any possibility of his paying the cost of a suit in the High Court, apart altogether from advancing the wife's costs.

2. With regard to that advance, paying the wife's coats to her or into Court, not only have I had my own experience, but I have consulted the Registrar, and he says that in cases like this he thinks the proper amount to be paid would not be less than Rs. 1,500, and that as regards the whole costs of a defended divorce suit on the Original Side, the amount would be between Rs. 2,500 and Rs. 3,500. Now, how can any man in the position of the petitioner in this case either pay the amount at present on account of his wife's costs, or pay them in the future. I am told that there is always a chance of his going insolvent. But it should not be part of our system to impose debts upon a man to force him to evade them by insolvency and the probable loss of his employment. It seems to me, the position is perfectly hopeless. This Court is unable under the present system to try any divorce case of this nature. If a man waits and tries to save the money for a divorce case, he is met, when he comes up here perhaps 10 years afterwards, with the answer that it is too late. If he does not bring a divorce case, somebody says the community to which he belongs does not care about these things. If he brings one, and I make an order against him for his wife's costs, there is an application against him for contempt, and I send him to jail. The first case I ever dealt with in this Court was that of somebody in the Tramway Company on a salary of Rs. 90. All the benefit he got out of the divorce petition was a week in jail for contempt for not having paid the amount of his wife's costs. Then the matter of course faded away. Mr. Banerjee who appears in support of the application and who has far more experience of these matters than I have, apart from the question involved in this application, has suggested that I should cause these remarks to be recorded, in the hope that some action may be taken in order to make it possible for this community, or people situated in the position of the parties to this suit to get a divorce. If a divorce is allowed it should be made possible without ruin. I have followed Mr. Banerjee's suggestion with the comfort of knowing that nobody will take the least notice of them. Mr. Page has joined Mr. Banerjee in hoping that something might be done. I hope that to the opinion of these able and experienced lawyers some respect and attention may be given. With regard to the present application I feel, for the reasons stated, that it would be wrong to grant a proper application, and that this Court cannot honestly say it is a fit Court to try this case.

3. I am satisfied, after discussion with the Registrar, that the costs in the District Court of Burdwan should be very much less: a few hundred rupees as against a few thousand. It is in this belief that I refused the application. Arrangements will have to be made for the wife's costs there. I hope the District Judge will, having regard to the reasons for my refusing this application, and leaving the matter with him, be able to make special arrangements, so that no injury may be inflicted upon the respondent with regard either to her employment or otherwise. I have no doubt the petitioner will be directed to make arrangements, so that the parties may go there, if possible, at a specially fixed time, as to which I hope the District Judge will be able to assist. As I say, it is a proper application, and it is with great regret I refuse it, but I refused it because I do not think, sitting on the Original Side, this is a fit Court under our present system to try a case between these parties. No order as to costs.


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