CHENNAI: A divorced woman need not file a separate petition to get back the sridhana articles given to the bridegroom at the time or before marriage. The court, which has granted the decree can also settle the issue relating to the return of the same. The decree also applies to estranged bridegrooms, the Madras High Court has held.
On a plain reading of the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, it becomes obvious that the matrimonial court trying any proceedings under the Act, has the jurisdiction to make such provision in the decree as it deems just and proper with regard to any property presented at or about the time of marriage, which may belong jointly to the husband and wife.
This Act provides an alternate remedy to the wife so that she can recover the property without having to take recourse to filling of a separate civil suit and avoid further litigation, said Justice S Vimala.
The judge was passing orders on a revision petition from the father and mother in-law of a woman, who was granted divorce by a lower court in Tambaram in 2014.
The wife applied for return of the sridhana presented to the husband at the time of marriage and the Tambaram Sub-Court granted the plea.
The in-laws filed a petition before the same court to appoint an advocate-commissioner to take inventory of the articles presented at the time of marriage by the bride and their own contribution to the bride and settle the matter. However, the plea was rejected. Hence, the present petition before the High Court.
After the decree of divorce, the wife had filed an application seeking return of her sridhana articles and this has been allowed on August 28, 2015.
Her in-laws had filed an application before Tambaram Sub-Court stating that they are intending to return the sridhana articles and they anticipate the return of the articles given by them to her at the time of marriage.And Justice Vimala directed the lower court to take up the case and decide the issue within a month.