The Bombay high court on Thursday stayed the order of the family court directing singer Adnan Sami to pay Rs6.4 crore to his ex- wife Sabah Galadari, a citizen of UAE, towards repayment, compensation and meher (money given by husband to wife after marriage) and also surrender his duplex flat at Andheri.
A vacation bench of justices RD Dhanuka and Anil Menon stayed the family court's order till June 10. However, the judges have said that they are not expressing opinion on the merits of the appeal.
Galadari was represented by advocate Mrinalini Deshmukh.
The high court was hearing an appeal filed by Sami through advocate Ranbir Singh seeking quashing of the family court order on April 5 saying that the same was "erroneous, illegal, ultra vires, contrary to settled principles of law, and is unsustainable."
Sami's appeal claims that title claim cannot be decided in proceedings under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (DV) Act, 2005. "Yet the Ld. Trial Judge went on to adjudicate upon the validity of the gift deeds dated 12.05.2008 and consequently the alleged title of the Respondent-wife to the suit property," reads his appeal.
Besides, the family court did not appreciate the legal effect of the order of the Enforcement Directorate holding that Sami had no legal title and hence no legal authority to gift the suit property, adds his appeal.
Challenging the family court order which asked him to return Rs5.3 crore which he had borrowed from Galadari, Sami has said that she had failed to prove that she had lent him the amount in the first place.
In addition, the family court had asked Sami to pay Rs1 crore as compensation for alleged harassment under the DV Act. Challenging this, Sami has said that the amount was decided without disclosing any cogent reasons for arriving at such a figure. "The mere fact that the Respondent (Galadari) is used to an extremely high standard of living and is of high status does not by itself justify imposition of such heavy compensation," adds his appeal.
Sami has claimed that the judge's premise of stating that domestic violence was committed is discriminatory.
His appeal reads: "That the Ld. Trial Judge erred in giving a finding of domestic violence on the basis of the heightened sensitivity of the Respondent and in holding that domestic violence differs from person to person and that the slightest abuse or anger to a person like the petitioner may entail domestic violence for her, but the same thing for a rustic may not entail any domestic violence. Different yard-sticks cannot be made applicable based on an abstract notion of heightened sensitivity."
He has also challenged the award of Rs10 lakh as meher to Galadari.
The two have been in an on-off marriage since 2001. They married in 2001, got divorced in 2004. They had re-married in 2007 and once again got divorced in 2012.