When property is the bone of contention, it is better to sell it off and divide the money between the warring parties or rather a warring couple after clearing all outstanding dues.
The Bombay high court on Thursday directed one such couple, seeking divorce, to sell off their plush apartments in Naigaon, Dadar (East).
The estranged couple, married in 2003, however, continue to live in their Worli sea face home. In 2007, they took a housing loan and bought two flats at Rs4.25 crore each in a residential complex in Naigaon.
The couple fell out in 2010 and the woman moved the family court, seeking a restraining order on her husband and the bank from creating third party rights of the flat. She also asked the court to direct her husband to continue paying the EMI of Rs2,91,217.
In February 2012, the man challenged the family court order before a single bench of the high court. The bench ruled that the man would continue paying the EMIs and if the flats were sold, the woman would be entitled to an equal amount of the share after clearing all dues.
The man then moved a division bench of the high court saying the single bench judge had erred.
He said the judge had overlooked a part of his petition where he said the sum, which the woman would get after the flats are sold and dues cleared, would be considered as full and final settlement for maintenance of his wife and two children. Also, the woman would go for a divorce by mutual consent.
The couple have got offers from prospective buyers for the flats. In fact, one such buyer is willing to pay Rs10 crore for the two flats.
On Thursday, the bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice NM Jamdar said the flats would be sold to a third party approved by the couple for Rs10 crore. The buyer would deposit the money in the high court registry on Friday. The judges directed the registry to clear all bank dues and keep the remaining money in a nationalised bank till other issues in connection with the divorce are sorted out.
At the next hearing on November 20, the court will decide if the balance money would be considered as full and final settlement for the woman and the children.