Report No. 136
4.15.1. Can a Matrimonial Court pass an order in respect of the persona property presented at or about the time of marriage to one of the spouse which is lying at the matrimonial home.-
The conflict of decisions on this poin centres on the precise scope of section 27 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 quoted hereunder.-
"27. Disposal of property.- In any proceeding under this Act, the court may make such provisions in the decree as, it deems just and proper with respect to any property presented, at or about the time of marriage, which may belong jointly to both the husband and the wife."
A question has arisen under this provision whether the Matrimonial Court can pass an order regarding the disposal of property received by a spouse individually as a present at or about the time of marriage whilst disposing of a substantive proceeding under the Act. According to Allahabad High Court1, section 27 does not exclude the jurisdiction or the power of the Court to pass an appropriate decree in regard to the property which may belong either solely to the" husband or solely to the wife. This power, in the nature of things, is inherent in the legal proceedings which appropriately arise under the Hindu Marriage Act.
It has been held that since section 21 of the Act confers on the Matrimonial Court all the powers of the civil court by recourse to section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure which pertains to inherent powers to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the process of the court, the court can grant general or other relief which it may think just and proper under the circumstances established in a given care. Of course, another learned Single judge of the same High Court has subsequently taken a contrary view evidently unaware of the earlier view.2 Since the earlier view could not have been reversed except by a larger Bench, in the Allahabad High Court itself, there is a conflict on this point.
1. Kamta Prasad v. Smt. Omwati, AIR 1972 All 153.
2. Santosh Anand v. Anand Prakash, 1980 All WC, 157.