Pat HC | Review of an order due to change of lawyer liable to be rejected – sets a bad precedent

Patna High Court: Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, J. dismissed a review application filed by the petitioner-husband for review of this Court’s order in a matrimonial case (pertaining to restitution of conjugal rights) whereby a direction was given to transfer records of the said case from this Court to the Family Court at Muzaffarpur (where the respondent-wife had filed a maintenance case against petitioner).

Counsel for the petitioner, Vivekanand Prasad Singh submitted that while passing the impugned order, this Court was not properly assisted by the appearing for petitioner earlier and that no contention was raised at the bar on behalf of the petitioner. It was submitted that the petitioner was presently posted at Mumbai and while it would be convenient for him to visit Patna on the date fixed in the matter, if he is required to go Muzaffarpur he would be required to take one additional leave.

Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent, Arvind Kumar Pandey and  Jitendra Prasad Singh, objected stating that the impugned order had been passed in the interest of both parties for the restoration of their conjugal rights.

The Court noted that the respondent had a one-year-old daughter and had no male member in the family to accompany her to visit this Court for hearings in the matrimonial case. Petitioner had himself filed a case for restitution of conjugal rights and during the course of arguments, it was understood that the respondent was ready to receive him at her place with an intention to restore conjugal rights. Thus, this Court had considered it just and proper to transfer the records of the matrimonial case to the Court at Muzaffarpur with the view that if the petitioner visits Muzaffarpur where respondent-wife was residing with her parents, there was every possibility of restitution of conjugal rights. No opposition was recorded on behalf of the petitioner in the impugned order.

It was observed that if it was the petitioner’s intention to restore his relationship, the plea regarding requirement one additional leave for visiting Muzaffarpur could not be said to be a bona fide plea, especially in view of the hardships being faced by the wife.

The Court noted that the present review application had been filed by a change of lawyer, but no affidavit was filed showing the reason which necessitated a change of lawyer. It was observed that while considering a review application, it is important to see if an error has occurred because of mistake of the Court or for any other reason which is likely to cause injustice to a party, and correct the same. But a review filed merely because of change of lawyer must not be generally allowed. Reliance in this regard was placed on Rotary Club, Begusarai v. State of Bihar, 2000 SCC OnLine Pat 892 where the practice of filing review petition due to change of was deprecated.

In view of the above, it was held that no injustice had been caused to the petitioner by the impugned order.[Rishi Kesh Kumar v. Minakshi Kumari, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 587, decided on 30-04-2019]

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