Aggarwal Vs. Aviral Mittal & ANR.  INSC 85 (2 February 2010)
APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRL.M.P. NO.1503 OF 2010 & CRL.M.P. NO.1504 OF 2010
IN CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.2357 OF 2009 Mrs. Shilpa Aggarwal ... Appellant Mr.
Aviral Mittal & Anr. ... Respondents
O R D E R
By our order dated 9th December, 2009, we had disposed of Criminal
Appeal No.2357 of 2009, arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.5995 of
2009, without interfering with the order of the High Court impugned in the
appeal. In order 2 to ensure that the directions of the High Court were
complied with by the parties, we had directed the Respondent-husband to provide
the initial expenses of the Appellant-wife and her minor child for travelling
to and staying in the United Kingdom for at least a month to attend and contest
the proceedings initiated by the Respondent No.1 husband before the Court of
Justice, Family Division, U.K. We had also directed the matter to be listed for
further orders on 15th December, 2009, to enable the Respondent-husband to
submit a proposal for the travel and staying arrangements for the Appellant and
her minor daughter in the U.K. for at least a month.
Pursuant to the said order, a proposal was duly filed by the
Respondent-husband on 15th December, 2009, but finding the same to be
inadequate, we had directed the Respondent-husband to give a detailed proposal
with regard to the said arrangements. The Appellant was also directed to file
a proposal as to how she intended to work out the order which had been passed
on 9th December, 2009. The matter was, accordingly, listed on 29th January,
2010, to consider the fresh proposals to be made by the Respondent-husband and
the views of the Appellant- wife in respect thereof.
By his application dated 23.12.2009 and filed on 12th January,
2010, the Respondent-husband, inter alia, indicated as follows :- (a) That
tickets had been booked by the Respondent for the Appellant and the minor
child, Elina, to fly from Delhi to London by Virgin Atlantic Airways on 1st
February, 2010. Upon arrival in the United Kingdom at London Airport,
arrangements had been made for travel via National Express Coach Service to
Swindon where the respondent resides.
Respondent has a three-bed room house in Swindon, U.K., where the Appellant and
Elina were welcome to stay with him, but in case the Appellant did not want to
stay in the matrimonial home, she could stay in the named hotel for which
bookings had been made from 30th January, 2010, till 28th February, 2010.
Respondent would pay the Appellant a daily allowance of 40 a day towards
maintenance, upon her arrival in the United Kingdom.
Respondent was willing to reimburse any reasonable expense above 50 which the
Appellant may incur for herself in the U.K.till 28.2.2010.
In response to the aforesaid offers, the Appellant-wife agreed to
stay with the Respondent in their matrimonial home in Swindon along with her
minor daughter and her father, till such time as 5 they were required to stay
in the U.K. for the purpose of contesting the custody case, subject to the
Respondent agreeing to undergo psychiatric evaluation and treatment. The
Appellant also sought the permission of the Court to allow her to be
accompanied by her father to the United Kingdom for which her father was ready
and willing to bear his travelling expenses. The Appellant has also wanted the
expenses of her father's stay in the U.K., for the security and support of her
minor daughter and herself, to be borne by the Respondent.
Apart from her place of stay, the Appellant also made detailed
suggestions regarding expenses that would have to be incurred by her on account
of travel and commuting in the U.K., for the minor's admission in a Child
Nursery, private medical expenses, day-to-day expenses, including clothing,
legal expenses, recreational expenses, expenses for 6 acquiring a
Computer/Laptop with accessories and other sundry miscellaneous expenses which
would add up to an estimated 8342 per month. A direction was also sought for
that the monthly expenses as indicated above for a period of six months should
be deposited in the bank account of the Appellant in the U.K. before the
Appellant left India for the U.K.
We have heard learned counsel for the parties on the proposals and
counter-proposals made for the purpose of implementing the order passed by this
Court on 9th December, 2009. What has emerged is that the Appellant-wife is
willing to stay with the Respondent-husband in their matrimonial home at Swindon,
U.K., provided he agreed to undergo psychiatric evaluation and treatment.
Counsel appearing for the Respondent-husband has, in consultation with the
Respondent, who was present in Court, accepted the condition indicated by the 7
Appellant-wife and undertook to undergo psychiatric evaluation and treatment on
his return to the U.K.The Respondent-husband also had no objection to the
proposal of the Appellant to allow her father to accompany her and Elina to the
United Kingdom and to stay with her during the period of her stay in the U.K.
for the purpose of contesting the custody case. The Respondent also agreed to
bear the ancillary expenses involved relating to admission of the child into a
Nursery, day-to-day expenses for the Appellant, her daughter and her father,
clothing, expenses to purchase Computer/Laptop and accessories, recreational
expenses and other sundry miscellaneous expenses.
A note of discord was, however, sounded on behalf of the
Respondent-husband regarding expenses for private medical treatment, legal
expenses and payments made by the Government into the Child Trust Fund and
Child Benefit. As far as expenses 8 for private medical treatment is
concerned, on behalf of the Respondent it was submitted that the Appellant and
the minor child would be entitled to medical coverage as soon as they landed in
as a result, the question of incurring expenses for private medical treatment
did not arise. As to legal expenses, it was submitted on behalf of the
Respondent that the amount indicated by the Appellant-wife was extremely high
and that he himself was paying his lawyers at the rate of 200 per hour. As far
as transfer of Child Trust Fund and Child Benefit is concerned, it was
submitted on behalf of the Respondent that whatever amounts had been received
by him on the minor daughter's account, which had remained unutilized, would be
returned to the State, to which the Appellant's response was that since
expenses had been incurred by her in India for Elina, the same should be made
over to her instead of being returned to the Government.
Since the points of disagreement had been narrowed down to the
aforesaid proposals, we direct that as far as expenses for private medical
treatment is concerned, the Respondent-husband shall initially provide a sum of
200 for such expenses and will also arrange for medical coverage in terms of
the Health Insurance and Life Insurance Cover for the Appellant, her minor
daughter and her father. As far as legal expenses are concerned, the Respondent
shall initially pay to the Appellant a sum of 2000 per month to enable the
Appellant to apply for free legal assistance under the Access to Justice Act,
1999, and other connected enactments and regulations, subject always to the
condition that the same are applicable to her. In the event such legal aid is
available to the Appellant, further payment by the Respondent towards legal
expenses shall be discontinued. Regarding transfer of the Child Trust Fund and
Child Benefit to the 10 Appellant, since the Appellant has been looking after
the expenses of the child, the same should be reimbursed to her from the amount
being held by the Respondent, unless legally prohibited from doing so.
Apart from the above, since all the other proposals, as indicated
above, have been duly agreed upon, there will be an order to the following
effect :- (i) The Respondent-husband shall bear the travel expenses of the
Appellant and her minor child from India to the United Kingdom and, if
necessary, back to India. The Appellant's father shall bear his own expenses
towards travelling to the U.K.
During their stay in the U.K. for the purpose of contesting the custody case,
the Appellant, her minor daughter and her father will reside with the
Respondent in the matrimonial home in Swindon in London, as long as it is
necessary for the purpose of contesting the case.
Within 15 days of the Appellant's arrival in the U.K., both the Appellant and
the Respondent shall undergo psychiatric evaluation and treatment and shall
also participate in marriage counselling programmes with a mutually agreed upon
Marriage Counsellor and the expenses for the same shall be borne by the
Respondent shall provide 300 per month towards the travelling expenses for the
Appellant, her child and her father during their stay in the U.K. for the
aforesaid purpose. The Child Benefit which the Respondent had been receiving on
account of the expenses for the minor child (Elina) should be made over to the
Appellant on account of the expenses already incurred by her for the said
purpose, if not legally prohibited from doing so.
Respondent shall provide a sum of 300 per month, for the child's admission in a
Child Nursery, during her stay in the U.K.
Respondent shall provide an initial amount of 200 for expenses that may be
incurred by the Appellant and her minor daughter and father towards private
Respondent shall pay an amount of 1200 per month towards food and daily incidental
expenses, such as toiletries, soap, detergent, etc, telephone and broadband.
The Respondent shall provide for Health Insurance and Life Insurance cover to
the Appellant and her minor daughter on their arrival in the U.K.
Respondent shall pay a sum of 1600 per month towards the Appellant's legal
expenses for contesting the custody and guardianship case.
Respondent shall provide for a Laptop and printer for the use of the Appellant.
The above amounts are to be paid into either of the two accounts
of the Appellant maintained by her in Barclays Bank, Hemel Hempstead 20-39-07,
Nos.10865826 and 10620122, in the U.K. covering a period of two months, in two
instalments, in modification of the earlier order directing arrangements to be
made for the Appellant's stay in the U.K. for at least a month to contest the
custody and guardianship case.
As far as airline tickets are concerned, the same may be purchased
by the Respondent and made over to the Appellant, or, in the alternative, the
price of the tickets may be deposited in the account of the Appellant in the
U.K. to enable the Appellant to access the same for travelling to the U.K. in
pursuance of the order passed by this Court on 9th December, 2009.
Immediately on deposit of the first instalment into the
Appellant's account in the U.K., and on being provided with the airline
tickets, the Appellant shall proceed to the U.K. along with her minor daughter,
Elina, and, if she chooses, her father, within a month from the date of being
informed of the said deposit, with prior intimation to the Respondent. The
second instalment is to be deposited within two weeks of the Appellant's
arrival in the U.K.
In order to meet any other eventuality, the Appellant-wife may
make appropriate applications before the High Court of Justice (Family
Division), at London, in the pending custody and guardianship case.
A copy of this order be made available to the parties forthwith.
Crl. M.P. Nos.1503 and 1504 of 2010 in Criminal Appeal No.2357 of
2009 are disposed of, accordingly.