Saturday, 19 May 2012

Wife can file suit for recovery of dowry articles where she resides

PLJ 2012 Lahore 332
[Bahawalpur Bench Bahawalpur]

Present: Abdus Sattar Asghar, J.

MUHAMMAD IMRAN--Petitioner

versus

JUDGE FAMILY COURT, BAHAWALPUR and another--Respondents

W.P. No. 6607 of 2011, decided on 1.12.2011.

West Pakistan Family Courts Act, 1964 (XXXV of 1964)--

----Ss. 7(2) & 26--West Pakistan Family Courts Rules, 1965, R. 6--Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, Art. 199--Territorial jurisdiction of Court to try suit for recovery of dowry articles--Objection application was dismissed--Validity--Consequent upon insertion of proviso of S. 7(2) of Family Courts Act r/w. R. 6 of Family Courts Rules, 1965 irrespective of suit for dissolution of marriage and recovery of dower a wife can institute suit for recovery of dowry articles before a Family Court where she ordinarily resides--Objection with regard to territorial jurisdiction of the Court to try suit for recovery of dowry articles was devoid of any force--Petition was dismissed.    [Pp. 333 & 334] A & B

PLD 2005 SC 22, rel.

Hafiz Munir Ahmed, Advocate for Petitioner.

Date of hearing: 1.12.2011.

Order

Muhammad Imran petitioner by invoking Constitutional jurisdiction of this Court under Article 199 has sought for setting aside of order dated 7.10.2011 passed by learned Judge Family Court, Bahawalpur whereby his application bearing objection regarding territorial jurisdiction of the Court to try the suit for recovery of dowry articles was dismissed.

2.  It is explained by learned counsel for the petitioner that learned Judge Family Court Bahawalpur (Respondent No. 1) decreed the suit for dissolution of marriage in favour of Respondent No. 2 against the petitioner and dismissed the suit for recovery of maintenance allowance and that suit for recovery of dowry articles is pending adjudication. It is alleged that Respondent No. 2 belongs to Khanewal and marriage was also solemnized in District Khanewal; that in the pending suit for recovery of dowry articles petitioner raised an objection with regard to territorial jurisdiction of learned Judge Family Court Bahawalpur (Respondent No. 1), however, his application containing the said objection was dismissed vide impugned order dated 07.10.2011 against law and facts; that petitioner has no efficacious remedy except to invoke the Constitutional jurisdiction of this Court, hence, this petition for setting aside the impugned order.

3.  I have given patient hearing to learned counsel for the petitioner and gone through the record.

4.  At the outset I would like to reproduce the relevant provision of law and Rules on the subject as under:--

Second proviso of Section 7(2) of the West Pakistan Family Courts Act, 1964 reads below:--

            "Provided that a plaint for dissolution of marriage may contain all claims relating to dowry, maintenance, dower, personal property and belongings of wife, custody of children and visitation rights of parents to meet their children."

Rule 6 of the West Pakistan Family Courts Rules 1965 reads below:--

"The Court which shall have jurisdiction to try a suit will be that within the local limits of which:--

(a)        the cause of action wholly or in part has arisen, or

(b)        where the parties reside or last resided together:

            Provided that in suit for dissolution of marriage or dower, the Court within the local limits of which the wife ordinarily resides shall also have jurisdiction."

5.  It is pertinent to mention that above quoted proviso pf Section 7(2) of the Act ibid was added vide Ordinance, LV of 2002 dated 1.10.2002 whereas above cited Rule 6 of the Rules ibid were framed by the Government in exercise of the powers under Section 26 of the West Pakistan Family Courts Act 1964 and notified in the extra ordinarily gazette of West Pakistan on 02.11.1965. It is, therefore, obvious that consequent upon insertion of the aforementioned proviso of Section 7(2) of the West Pakistan Family Court Act, 1964 read with Rule, 6 of the West Pakistan Family Courts Rules, 1965 irrespective of the suit for dissolution of marriage and recovery of dower a wife can institute suit for  recovery  of  her  dowry  articles  before  a  Family  Court  where  she  ordinarily resides. Reliance is made upon Muhammad Iqbal through Special Attorney Faiz Sultan Vs. Parveen Iqbal (PLD 2005 SC 22).

6.  Besides, petitioner himself has admitted that respondent's suit for dissolution of marriage and recovery of maintenance allowance lodges on the basis of same address was decided by the learned Judge Family Court Bahawalpur, which he did not object to, therefore, his latest objection with regard to territorial jurisdiction of same Court to try respondent's suit for recovery of dowry articles against him is devoid of any force. The learned Judge Family Court, therefore, has rightly turned down the petitioner's objection regarding territorial jurisdiction of Family Court at Bahawalpur while dismissing his objection petition through impugned order. I do not find any legal infirmity or unlawful exercise of jurisdiction by the learned Judge Family Court in passing the impugned order, therefore, petitioner has no case at all to invoke the Constitutional jurisdiction of this petition. This petition having no merit is dismissed in limine.

(R.A.)  Petition dismissed

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