NRI's petition rejected – Pune court can hear divorce case

The Bombay high court rejected a plea by New Jersey resident Sumit Patil that contended since he was not an Indian citizen and resides in the US, the Hindu Marriage Act is not applicable to him, and a Pune court could not hear the divorce petition filed by his US NRI wife. Patil also furnished a US court order directing his estranged wife Seema Patil to return with the couple's 6-year-old son to the US. The HC said the Pune family court was right in relying upon provisions in the HMA that allowed a woman to file a cases before the court where she resides and Seema's decision to admit her child to a school in Pune showed her intention to reside in India for the time being and therefore establishes intended domicile. The HC also referred to the fact Sumit had bought property in Lower Parel that he claimed was for his parents, and said the court was not impressed as he had included his name in the property ownership records. Sumit migrated to the US in 1994 and married Seema in Mumbai in 2002. She moved to the US in 2004 and obtained citizenship. Their son was born in 2008. In 2012 Seema returned to Pune with their son and did not return to the US. The same year she filed a divorce petition in the family court in Pune. The Court has now directed the family court not to hear Seema's plea for divorce for six weeks to allow Sumit to approach the Supreme Court.