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Marital disputes due to property: HC

Saturday, April 28, 2012
By A DraftCraft Correspondent

‘As property prices are rising, so are marriage disputes. For property, people are taking divorces’

That most marital disputes pivot on property is a given but the Bombay High Court statement in a recent appeal only underlined the fact. Hearing an appeal, Court stated that ‘marriage disputes these days are mostly on account of property.’ A division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and Justice Anoop Mohta was hearing the appeal.

Besides marriage, a host of disputes that include sibling rivalry, discord between families etc., too, occur due to property disputes. The High Court made the statement while granting a man permission to enter his flat in Cusrow Baug, Colaba in South Mumbai.

Boman Batliwalla had, in an appeal, challenged an April 13th order in which the custody of his daughter Shirin was granted to his wife Zenobia and he was restrained from entering their flat. The order was passed on an application made by Zenobia in her pending petition seeking a divorce on account of cruelty.

The judges observed that with property prices sky rocketing for some period now, there has been a corresponding increase in marriage disputes. “As property prices are rising, so are marriage disputes. For property, people are taking divorces. This is such a sorry state of affairs,” said Justice Majmudar. The spate of family disputes that have made headlines in the past and those still making waves only vindicates the view.

The Mafatlal scion family dispute that came to a boil last year had been the effect of an ongoing familial discord for almost over a decade.

Not surprisingly, all issues revolved around family property and other material possessions.

It all started when industrialist Atulya Mafatlal’s daughter Marushka, then 19 years of age, moved to court against her stepmother and socialite Sheetal Mafatlal.
A family drama unfolded at a time when Atulya was getting treated for colon cancer in London.

An array of charges levelled on one family member by the other include theft, divorce, domestic violence and more leading to the family’s material loss and ruin of reputation.

In another case, a few years back, in 2007, Laurna D’Souza was shot at six times by her brother Lalit D’Souza, owner of a chain of restaurants in Mumbai.

Although the fight that led to the shooting was triggered by a heated row over parking space in their Cuffe Parade residential colony, the animosity between the two of them had been there for a long time over the family dispute of ownership of ancestral property – the six restaurants in Mumbai. Laurna survived and the legal battle between them is still going on.


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