NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today granted three more months to a family court for adjudicating the dispute between ace tennis player Leander Paes and his estranged live-in partner Rhea Pillai in a maintenance case.
The top court had on July 18 last year referred the matter back to a family court and directed it to adjudicate the dispute between the two within six months after they had failed to settle their issues amicably.
A bench of Justices Adarsh Goel and U U Lalit granted three more months to the family court to complete the proceedings after time was sought as trial in the case had not been completed in six months as directed by the apex court.
On July 18 last year, the apex court had said, "We are of the view that the entirety of the case, instead of any particular issue as a preliminary issue, may be decided by the trial court. Hearing of the matter may be expedited and as far as possible the proceedings be completed within a period of six months."
It had then directed both Paes and Pillai to appear before the family court on August 1 last year for further proceedings.
Earlier, the apex court had said that it cannot force Paes and Pillai to arrive at a settlement in a maintenance case, even after having accorded them an in-chamber hearing.
Pillai had asked Paes for a house but he did not agree to the proposal saying that she had already got a house from Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt (her former husband).
Pillai had then said that Paes was not agreeing to give anything, neither the house, nor the money.
The apex court had earlier asked the couple, who have a daughter from their relationship, to settle their dispute amicably out of court.
Pillai had approached the apex court for maintenance under the Domestic Violence Act.
Paes had opposed Pillai's plea, saying he was not married to her.
The couple have been locked in a legal battle over maintenance and custody of their 11-year-old daughter since 2014, when Pillai filed a case of domestic violence and harassment against Paes and his father.
Pillai had challenged a Bombay High Court order which had refused to grant her any relief in the dispute.
The High Court had also asked the couple to sit down together and work out an amicable solution.
However, they had failed to arrive at a settlement.
After getting divorce from actor Sanjay Dutt, Pillai had moved in with Paes and was in a live-in relationship.