Return of gold ornaments of wife allowed despite absence of specific details thereto, in view of husband’s contradictory statements

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

PRESENT

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE A.M.SHAFFIQUE & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE A.M.BABU

FRIDAY, THE 22ND DAY OF FEBRUARY 2019 / 3RD PHALGUNA, 1940

Mat.Appeal.No. 252 of 2011

AGAINST THE JUDGMENT IN OP 139/2008 of FAMILY COURT, ALAPPUZHA
DATED 28-12-2010

APPELLANT/RESPONODENT:

MURALEEDHARAN PILLAI, AGED 41 YEARS,
S/O. ACHUTHAN PILLAI, VRINDAVANAM, VETTIYAR NORTH,VETTIYAR P.O., MAVELIKARA TALUK.

BY ADV. SRI.R.PADMAKUMAR

RESPONDENTS/PETITIONERS:

1 AMBILI CHELLAPPAN, W/O MURALEEDHARAN PILLAI,
KRISHNA VILASOM, THAMALLAKKAL THEKKUMMURI,,KUMARAPURAM VILLAGE, THAMALLAKKAL P.O.

2 ABHILASH DEV, AGED 11 YEARS MINOR SON OF MURALEEDHARAN PILLAI.

3 MANJIMA AGED 5 YEARS D/O.MURALEEDHARAN PILLAI.

(MINORS ARE REPRESENTED BY 1ST RESPONDENT AMBILI CHELLAPPAN)

BY ADV. SRI.M.R.ARUNKUMAR

THIS MATRIMONIAL APPEAL HAVING BEEN FINALLY HEARD ON 14.02.2019,
THE COURT ON 22.2.2019 DELIVERED THE FOLLOWING:

Mat.A.No.252/2011

JUDGMENT
SHAFFIQUE, J This appeal has been filled by the respondent in O.P.No.139/2008 of the Family Court, Alappuzha. By judgment dated 28.12.2010, the Family Court allowed the original petition by which the 1 st respondent herein was permitted to recover an amount of Rs.2,25,000/- being the value of 25 sovereigns of gold ornaments from the appellant herein. Though direction had also been issued by the Family Court to pay maintenance, the appellant does not intend to challenge the said direction.

2. In the appeal our only concern is with reference to the direction to pay the value of gold ornaments allegedly appropriated by the appellant.

3. The short facts of the case as under and the parties are described as shown in the original petition unless otherwise stated. The 1st petitioner and the respondent got married on 7.7.1996. Two children were born in the wedlock. According to her at the time of marriage she was given 25 sovereigns of gold ornaments which was appropriated by the respondent for his business purpose. Subsequently, her mother had given her 11 sovereigns of gold ornaments which was also taken by the respondent for utilising in his business. Respondent denied the allegation of having appropriated Mat.A.No.252/2011 any of her gold ornaments. Before the Family Court petitioner and two witnesses were examined as PW1 to PW3 and the respondent was examined as RW1.

4. The respondent in his objection contended that he was not aware of the fact that she had 25 sovereigns of gold ornaments as he has not weighed the same. That apart, according to him, she came from a poor family who did not have the capacity to purchase any gold ornaments. The gold ornaments was therefore purchased by them from a gold merchant and after some days of the marriage when he was at the house of his wife, the gold merchant had come for money and since they were not able to pay the money the entire gold ornaments were returned.

5. PW1 in her evidence stated that the contention urged by the respondent in his objection was not correct. Ext.A2 is the marriage photo produced which apparently shows she was having some gold ornaments. But the actual quantity cannot be deciphered from the photographs. The respondent while being examined as RW1, when confronted with Ext.A2 wedding photos, his contention was that those were imitation gold. If such gold ornaments were imitation, his contention that the gold ornaments were returned to the seller itself is wrong. His contention is belied by his own statement in the oral testimony. In the said circumstances, the Family Court observed that Mat.A.No.252/2011 the contention of appropriation of 25 sovereigns of gold ornaments by the respondent stands proved. The Family Court however did not decree return of the other 11 sovereigns of gold ornaments.

6. The learned counsel for the appellant however contended that no specific details are given regarding appropriation of gold ornaments. In fact she had specifically stated in the petition that her gold ornaments were taken and invested for his business purpose. As far as a wife is concerned, when her husband demands gold ornaments for his business it may not be possible for her to refuse. Therefore there is every reason to believe the version of petitioner and the contradictory contentions taken by respondent in his objection and before court belies his testimony.

In the said circumstances, we are of the view that the Family Court was justified in granting decree in favour of the petitioner. We do not find any ground to interfere with the judgment of the Family Court. The Mat.Appeal dismissed. No costs.

Sd/-

A.M.SHAFFIQUE, JUDGE
Sd/-
A.M.BABU, JUDGE

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