• How to stall divorce proceedings in Singapore of Indian Citizens

How to stall divorce proceedings in Singapore of Indian Citizens living on Permanent Resident status in Singapore using Indian court ?

We are Indian citizens married (in India under Hindu Marriage Act) for 11 years and living in Singapore as Permanent Residents. My Wife left house without notice 2 months ago leaving behind 2 small children of 7 and 9 years and started to stay at unknown location in Singapore. She emailed that she would file for divorce in Singapore family court on grounds of breakdown of marriage and has filed them but notices are not served yet. She refused to talk to me and not coming to India for elders mediation. I have no house in Singapore and I moved my 2 children to India few days ago as there is no one to care here. I want to shift the divorce proceedings back to India while I continue to work in my Singapore job. My specific questions are:
1. Can a High Court in India issue directive to stay the proceeding in a Singapore family court for my case? At what stage do I need to approach Indian court? What are the relevant laws in India and any lawyer in Hyderabad city to help me?

2. What actions do I need to take in Singapore if I am served with a notice from Singapore family court if I can't avoid taking notice.

3. Can I file any proceedings at Indian High court instead of a local district court for asking my Wife to come back to stay with me?

As all happened without notice and my intent is to stall divorce proceedings in Singapore at this stage.

Kindly advise me what are the right steps that I need to take using Indian courts as legal costs are very high in Singapore.
Asked 5 months ago in Family Law from Singapore
Religion: Hindu
1) you will have to move family court in india for stay of divorce proceedings in Singapore as marriage was solemnised in india and divorce sought on grounds not recognised by HMA 

2) when you receive notice of filing of petition you should object to jurisdiction of Singapore courts . refuse to participate in divorce proceedings and seek stay 

3) you cannot file any petition in HC directly 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23116 Answers
1214 Consultations
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It is easy to understand your predicament, answers to your questions;
1. No Indian courts including the High court in Hyderabad can grant stay to a court outside India. Only the family court can stay the proceedings on the ground that as a Husband you have agreed to the jurisdiction of the Indian courts and not the family court in Singapore. In any case this ground would be untenable for the reason, that both husband and wife are permanent residents of Singapore.
2. In any you cannot avoid taking the notice, once after taking notice you can appear before the court in person or through a pleader, if you are unable to hire one due to costs, then you can ask the court to provide one for you at a reasonable cost.
3. Since both of you are permanent residents of singapore, other courts will not entertain your case.
4. You can however explore the possibility of reconciliation through the courts if this does not work, then divorce is your only option. 
Kiran N. Murthy
Advocate, Bangalore
765 Answers
50 Consultations
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You have to in RCR petition filed in India seek stay of divorce proceedings in Singapore

2) no need to move to Singapore HC 

3) you can execute POA in favour of your sister

4) you should keep kids with your parents 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23116 Answers
1214 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. Can a High Court in India issue directive to stay the proceeding in a Singapore family court for my case? At what stage do I need to approach Indian court? What are the relevant laws in India and any lawyer in Hyderabad city to help me?

Not only high court but even supreme court of India cannot interfere into the business of a foreign court.  If she is filing a divorce case at Singapore you have to face the same in that country only and not in a different country.Thus all your other questions of this are ansered accordingly





2. What actions do I need to take in Singapore if I am served with a notice from Singapore family court if I can't avoid taking notice.

You have to participate in the case and challenge the same on the basis of merits in your side 







3. Can I file any proceedings at Indian High court instead of a local district court for asking my Wife to come back to stay with me?

No you have to approach the jurisdictional family court only for all the remedies in this regard.






You can file a separate case against her in India as a retaliation 


T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13932 Answers
127 Consultations
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(a) File for Conjugal Rights at District Family Court in my home state, India.
(b) Using this filing (upon getting a number), upon receiving Divorce notice in Singapore, go to Singapore High Court to stay the Divorce proceedings in Singapore Family court citing that there are no COnjugal Rights in their Women Charter. I will also state that Children are already in India and I also plan to wind up in few months to go back to India for good. Hopefully, with the above, High Court might grant the stay.

Pl review if the above is a good plan to ahead with? Pl suggest if need to change anything in the above plan.


This depends on the local laws of Singapore in this regard which cannot be predicted by a lawyer in India.








(a) Can I give POA to my sister in India to file for Conjugal Rights in Family Court in Andhrapradesh? This is to speed up filing.

You can, but the POA has to be properly registered with the registrar.






(b) Can we request District Family Court in Andhra to grant stay on any current/potential Divorce proceedings that my wife might bring up in India or in Singapore (while my petition for Conjugal Rights in not disposed in Indian Family Court)?

You cannot.  There is no provision in law or this.







(c) Does Singapore High court recognize the Conjugal Rights petition that I filed in a District Family Court of India? Or do I need to get this endorsed by Indian High Court?

It depends on the discretion of the Singapore court.






(d) Currently, I left my children at my in-laws place to pressurise them to come for negotiations. Is it a good thing or should I keep the children with my parents? My spouse left home leaving children behind 60 days ago in Singapore. Recently, I made a trip to India, met her parents and left children with them on the advice of a middle man.

It is a good idea to put pressure on her.  But look at the fate of the innocent kids who are sandwiched due to their parents problems.  What is the fault that these kids have done while their parents live in their own ego and not taking care of them?

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13932 Answers
127 Consultations
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1. Singapore is a different Country and Indian Court has no jurisdiction and/or authority to direct Singapore court on any matter. So, you can not get any proceeding initiated at Singapore court stayed by an order passed by an Indian court,

2. You are required to contest the case fittingly after receiving the notice from the Singapore court,

3. You can file a RCR case in India seeking a directive upon your wife to join you in India or Singapore but it will be of no use since it will not stall your wife in filing divorce suit in Singapore and get a decree of divorce accordingly,

4. It will be prudent on your part to negotiate with your wife and reconcile with her.  
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12043 Answers
228 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. Your filing a RCR case in India will not affect the Divorce suit filed by her before the Singapore Court,

2. You can visit India for a day to file the RCR case and then execute a POA in favour of your sister to follow up the case for you,

3. Singapore High Court or any lower Court will not take cognisance of any case file by you in any other country.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12043 Answers
228 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Hi
The guiding principles for Courts(Both international and indian) to grant divorce petitions are :

(a)     the lex loci celebrationis (ie, the law of the land where the marriage was celebrated);
(b)     the lex fori (ie, the law of the forum); or
(c)     the lex domicilii (ie, the law of the domicile).

Since your marriage happened in India under Hindu Marriage Act and both of you being indian citizens,  Indian courts alone have the jurisdiction to grant divorce.
Please pursue the judgment of Singapore High Court in  Sanjeev Sharma s/o Shri Sarvjeet Sharma v Surbhi Ahuja d/o Sh Virendra Kumar Ahuja, [2015] SGHC 104, Suit No:   	Divorce Suit No 1698 of 2013 (Summons No 7877 of 2013), (Registrar’s Appeal from the State Courts No 6 of 2014) . This judgment should give you enough insights on how singapore courts approach divorce under Hindu Marriage act.. This judgment also talks about the Supreme court of India's judgments on divorce decrees's by courts overseas under Hindu Marriage act.

The key rule laid by the Supreme Court on foreign divorce decrees can be summed up as follows: If a couple is
married under Hindu law, 
(a) the foreign court that grants divorce must be acceptable under Hindu law; and
(b) the foreign court should grant divorce only on the grounds which are permissible under Hindu Law. The two conditions make it almost impossible for a Hindu couple married in India to get a legally valid divorce
from a foreign court since no foreign court is an acceptable one under Hindu Marriage Act and also because no foreign court is likely to consider the  provisions of Hindu Marriage Act before granting divorce.

Now coming to review of your plan of action
a) You (not your sister through POA) should file a petition for Restitution of Conjugal RIghts under Sec 9 of Hindu marriage act in the family court in andhra pradesh. A restitution of conjugal rights petition can be filed only by the husband or wife and not through POA or lawyers. 

b) Once a restitution of conjugal rights petition is filed and your wife files a divorce petition later in andhra pradesh, you can approach the high court of andhra pradesh for staying / transferring the case  to one court (either at Wife's place or at Husband's place) depending on merits. 

c) The family courts in India or for that matter any court in India cannot stay the divorce petition filed in singapore(refer  the Judgment of The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court , dated  18/09/2009, in CRP(PD)No.525 of 2009, between Bharathi VS Mahesh Kannan

d) SIngapore courts are not duty bound to recognize the orders of the courts in India. So it is better to inform the singapore court that the petition has been submitted in indian courts for restitution of conjugal rights in india and not expect any thing more from it. 

e) Child custody - better that children are with either your parents or your wife's grand parents, till you both decide on child custody in courts. 

So overall given the above facts and issues, i think you have the right strategy in filing a RCR in india and if at all the proceedings lead to divorce, then better proceed with the divorce case in india. 
Another advantage is that since you and your wife had lived in singapore for so long, she cannot file Dowry or Domestic violence cases against you in india. so in all ways your strategy seems perfect and you need to ensure perfect execution of your plan.
Hope this helps
Rajgopalan Sripathi
Advocate, Hyderabad
869 Answers
43 Consultations
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n Padmini Hindupur vs. Abhijit S. Bellur, The Hon’ble Delhi High Court, granted an anti-suit injunction in favour of the wife against the husband, restraining the husband from prosecuting divorce petition in the foreign court.

On the issue of wife whether to be held entitled to the relief prayed for by her i.e. the grant of an anti suit interim injunction, it was noted that Section 13 of the CPC deals with the recognition of a foreign judgment. It deals with the various alternatives under which a foreign decree may not be recognized by an Indian Court; until and unless, the foreign decree is in conformity with the public policy which is equity and good conscience, such a decree may not been recognized. The provision clearly says that a foreign judgment not been given on merits of the case will not be recognized by the Courts in India. Unless the party after service voluntarily and unconditionally submits himself/herself to the jurisdiction of the Court and contests the claim, or agrees to the passing of the decree with or without submitting to the jurisdiction of the Court it should not be considered to be a decision which was rendered on the merits of the case. 

It was accordingly held that the present would be a forum of inconvenience for the wife to submit herself to the US Court. She having lodged her protest in regard to jurisdiction of US Court, there was no suppression or concealment of facts and thus she was entitled to the equitable relief as prayed for. 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23116 Answers
1214 Consultations
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