• Indian citizen, Singapore permanent resident for 15 years

Dear Sir,
Good afternoon.
My wife, 2 daughters and myself are Indian Citizen, Singapore Permanant Resident for 15 years. 

Now I am aged 50 and my wife aged 43. We all 4 living in Singapore same house. My marriage is 20 years completed. We 4 all are hindu and my marriage was in India/Tamil Nadu as per Hindu Marriage Act.

Now my wife applying divorce in Singapore court. I don't agree for the divorce. 

The real reason for the divorce, 

1) Because of economic crisis and I am 50+ not getting good job here. (Many times I explained the situation to her and want to go back to India. But she don't agree to come back to India) 
2) I am working around 28 years. I started my job as bycycle deliver guy with salary of Rs.300 . By own effort and learned computer and now one of the senior most IT solutions architect. I worked around 16 hours a day to bring my family to good level. Now I am feeling some health issues also.

I requiest you to guide me:
1) whether Singapore court is juristication for this case?
2) Can I request the Singapore court to cancel or transfer the case to India?
3) I very much honour our marriage. I want to continue with my wife and kids. I don't like this divorce. What are the reasons I can explain defend?

Your kind advice will save a hindu family.

Thanks in advance.
Asked 2 months ago in Family Law from Singapore
Religion: Hindu
1) you should object to jurisdiction of courts in Singapore on grounds that marriage was solemnised in India and divorce can be granted only on grounds recognised by HMA 

2) fly down to India and file petition for restitution of conjugal rights under section 9 of HMA and also seek stay of divorce proceedings in Singapore 

3) court in Singapore wont transfer case to India but you can seek stay in India of divorce proceedings in Singapore as advised 

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23386 Answers
1229 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Dear Querist
My opinion on your queries are as under:

1) whether Singapore court is juristication for this case?
Opinion: As both the parties are residing at Singapore, hence the Singapore Court has the jurisdiction, but if the court pass a divorce decree which is against the Indian Law then that decree will not be valid in India as per section 13 of CPC, the divorce should be grant on any ground as mention in section 13 of Hindu marriage Act-1955
13 Divorce. ?
(1) Any marriage solemnised, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party?
16 [(i) has, after the solemnisation of the marriage, had voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse; or]
16 [(ia) has, after the solemnisation of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty; or]
16 [(ib) has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition; or]
(ii) has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion; or
17 [(iii) has been incurably of unsound mind, or has been suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.
Explanation .?In this clause,?
(a) the expression ?mental disorder? means mental illness, arrested or incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder or any other disorder or disability of mind and includes schizophrenia;
(b) the expression ?psychopathic disorder? means a persistent disorder or disability of mind (whether or not including sub-normality of intelligence) which results in abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the other party, and whether or not it requires or is susceptible to medical treatment; or]
(iv) has 18 [***] been suffering from a virulent and incurable form of leprosy; or
(v) has 18 [***] been suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form; or
(vi) has renounced the world by entering any religious order; or
(vi) has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of it, had that party been alive; 19 [***] 20 [ Explanation. ?In this sub-section, the expression ?desertion? means the desertion of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage without reasonable cause and without the consent or against the wish of such party, and includes the wilful neglect of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage, and its grammatical variations and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.] 21 [***]
22 [(1A) Either party to a marriage, whether solemnised before or after the commencement of this Act, may also present a petition for the dissolution of the marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground?
(i) that there has been no resumption of cohabitation as between the parties to the marriage for a period of 22 [one year] or upwards after the passing of a decree for judicial separation in a proceeding to which they were parties; or
(ii) that there has been no restitution of conjugal rights as between the parties to the marriage for a period of 22 [one year] or upwards after the passing of a decree for restitution of conjugal rights in a proceeding to which they were parties.]
(2) A wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of her marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground,?
(i) in the case of any marriage solemnised before the commencement of this Act, that the husband had married again before such commencement or that any other wife of the husband married before such commencement was alive at the time of the solemnisation of the marriage of the petitioner: Provided that in either case the other wife is alive at the time of the presentation of the petition; or
(ii) that the husband has, since the solemnisation of the marriage, been guilty of rape, sodomy or 23 [bestiality; or]
24 [(iii) that in a suit under section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (78 of 1956), or in a proceeding under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) [or under the corresponding section 488 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898)], a decree or order, as the case may be, has been passed against the husband awarding maintenance to the wife notwithstanding that she was living apart and that since the passing of such decree or order, cohabitation between the parties has not been resumed for one year or upwards; or
25 [(iv) that her marriage (whether consummated or not) was solemnised before she attained the age of fifteen years and she has repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of eighteen years.]


2) Can I request the Singapore court to cancel or transfer the case to India?
Opinion: You may raise a question on Jurisdiction of the court being an Indian and marriage was solemnized as per the Hindu marriage Act-1955, the court is duty bound to see the ground of divorce as mention in the Hindu Marriage Act, if beyond the act the court pass an order for granting divorce then divorce will be challenged in India. 

3) I very much honour our marriage. I want to continue with my wife and kids. I don't like this divorce. What are the reasons I can explain defend?
Opinion: For this question, without knowledge of the allegations mention in the divorce petition, opinion can not be given.
Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
3537 Answers
130 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
1. Since you are the permanent resident of Singapore, the Courts at Singapore has the jurisdiction to try the divorce suit to be filed by your wife there.

2. The divorce suit will be filed certainly based on certain grounds acceptable to Singapore Courts as per the law of that country.You shall have to contest the case fittingly there praying for its rejection. Singapore vCourt will not transfer the said case to any Indian court. Either it will hear it and dispose it off after hearing both the parties or will dismiss it on the ground of maintainability.

3. You can not stop your wife in filing the divorce suit if she so wishes. You can contest it and try to get the order in your favour. Engage a lawyer at Singapore to defend yourself if she files the divorce suit against you.

Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12143 Answers
233 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Hi 
1) Singapore courts conducts Divorce proceedings under SIngapore Marriage Act and Not under Hindu Marriage Act.

2) Hence you should request the Singapore court for Stay of proceedings in the event your wife files for Divorce on the Grounds that your marriage was solemnize under Hindu marriage act, hence you may seek leave of appeal to initiate proceedings for Divorce/Restitution of conjugal rights be conducted under Hindu Marriage Act in India. 

3) Please refer to singapore case law Sanjeev Sharma s/o Shri Sarvjeet Sharma v Surbhi Ahuja d/o Sh Virendra Kumar Ahuja [2015] SGHC 104.

4) In the event of your wife filing for divorce you should request the court for Stay of Proceedings and seek of Leave of appeal to file the case in India under Hindu Marriage Act as the matter also involves the custody, welfare and well being of  grown up children.

Hope this helps 
Rajgopalan Sripathi
Advocate, Hyderabad
873 Answers
43 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. Since you are permanent residents of Singapore the courts in Singapore have the jurisdiction to hear and decide the matrimonial dispute.

2. If you do not want to end the matrimony then you may contest the proceedings in the Singapore court within the realm of Singapore law.

3. Under no circumstances the court in Singapore will transfer the case to India.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18259 Answers
450 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Dear Concerned 

answers below 

1. Yes living in Singapore since 15 years as permanent resident jurisdiction is there. 
2.  No, they will not entertain your request. 
3.  This can be answered only after studying the copy of the divorce petition filed by your wife. 

Best of Luck Sir. 
Atulay Nehra
Advocate, Noida
444 Answers
15 Consultations
4.7 on 5.0
1) Among Hindus marriage is a sacrament not a contract 

2) since you have been married under provisions of HMA divorce has ti be on grounds recognised by HMA 

3) divorce decree to be valid in India should be on grounds recognised by HMA 

4) as advised earlier move family court in India and seek stay of divorce proceedings in Singapore 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23386 Answers
1229 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. The couple married in India as per Hindu Marriage Act takes the decree of divorce in USA or OK. So, the Singapore Court will pass the decree of divorce on grounds acceptable by law of that Country. The said Court need not know Hindu Marriage Act. to pass the said decree.

2. The divorce decree will be passed based on the Singaporean Law.

3. Singapore court will not bother about the nuances and feelings of Hindu Marriages. They will pass the decree as per the law of their country. Period.

4. The Singapore Court will decide about the prayer of your wife for granting her the decree of divorce where you shall be given ample chance to contest it. 

5. The said decree of divorce passed by the foreign Court being the Court of Singapore will not be valid in India unless it is based on grounds acceptable to Indian Law ( like the no fault divorce decree passed in USA which is treated as MCD in India) and in that case you shall have to get the said decree passed by the Singaporean court validated by the local District Judge in India.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12143 Answers
233 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. You cannot bind the Singapore court to follow Indian law. When you are in a foreign land you have to adopt your legal remedies under its law.

2. If you want to proceed under Hindu Marriage Act then adopt your remedies under Indian legal framework.

Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18259 Answers
450 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) whether Singapore court is juristication for this case?

Since you all have been residing in Singapore for more than 20 years and also you are a PR of Singapore, the Singapore court very much has jurisdiction to conduct trial proceedings of this divorce case 




2) Can I request the Singapore court to cancel or transfer the case to India?

Your request may not be acceded by Singapore court, instead you dont attend the divorce proceedings, exparte divorce granted by Singapore court is not valid in India as per Indian laws. 



3) I very much honour our marriage. I want to continue with my wife and kids. I don't like this divorce. What are the reasons I can explain defend?

If you ant to save your marriage you can either contest the same and challenge her allegations agaisnt you, if not leave it to be decided exparte, which will not be valid in India. Thus your marriage can be saved.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14161 Answers
128 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) I think Singapore court follows English Law. Not Hindu law. How to I except them to know Hindu Marriage act?

It will follow its own country's law and if this comes under their jurisdiction, they can very well proceed with the divorce case.




2) I think, English law looks a marriage as a 'Contract' (like: if anyone don't like just get separated.  Easily and even for simple reason). Even though couple, they will be treated as individuals. But our Hindu law treat marriage as holy /  sacred relationship. 

What do you want to say by posting the above query?  Let it be anything, if it is taken on file by the Singapore court then you may have to face trial without any option to leave it to become exparte.




3) For one same issue/case, punishment/judgement differs between court to court and country to country.  Every religion has its own nuances for marriage. How to I expect an English Law country to feel our Hindu marriage nuances and feelings? 

First of all you challenge the allegations pleaded by her in the court where you will get an opportunity to argue all these matters what you have mentioned here.



4) Since only I am living/working in Singapore, is this country has the rights to play/decide with my life? Can I rise this questing in SG court or based on this can I apply for Stay order?

You cannot apply for staying the proceedings of Singapore court in India, the Indian courts have no jurisdiction to pass a stay order against a foreign court. Dont be misguided by such things even if someone tells you about it, it is wrong and illegal.





5) I don't have any long time plan to live in Singapore. As a Indian Citizen, I am planning to come back to India soon.

Then you return to India avoiding the divorce proceedings initiated by her agaisnt you.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14161 Answers
128 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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