The Bombay High Court on Monday ordered the Pakistani singer to move out of the flats and hand those over to his ex-wife Sabah Galadari. A division bench of Justice AS Oka and Justice SC Gupte struck down an order of a single judge, and upheld an earlier family court order of 2010 which had granted Galadari the use of the disputed flats.
However, it modified the family court’s order by forbidding Sami or his family members from using the flats. The family court order had not debarred Sami. The five flats are spread over the 13th and 14th floors of the Lokhandwala complex in Andheri and have been merged into one duplex.
Galadari had opposed a part of the family court’s order as Sami had re-married and was staying with his new wife in the disputed flats. In 2010, Sami and Galadari were still married; the divorce came through in June 2012.
Through a deed of gift of January 21, 2009, Sami admitted to having given the five flats on the 13th and 14th floors to Galadari. While appealing before the family court to stay in her marital home, she had also sought protection under the domestic violence act and restraint on Sami from entering.
The family court had observed that the flats constituted her marital home and she had a right of residence there. However, Sami was not disallowed.
Galadari then approached the high court for a modification of the order, seeking that Sami be asked to vacate.
When the matter was before the single judge, Sami made an offer to Galadari of two flats on the 12th floor of the same building or of another flat in Versova. He was in the mean time, staying with his second wife in the disputed flats. Galadari was staying in a hotel, it was submitted.
The single judge, Justice R Dalvi, had set aside the family court order and directed Galadari to accept Sami’s alternative arrangements offer.
“There was no occasion for the learned single judge to direct the appellant wife should shift to the other flats offered by the respondent husband,” said the court.
“We must note that a special submission was made by the appellant that if the flats are available on the 12th floor he should shift… the said suggestion was considered but not accepted by the family court. How could the single judge direct her to accept the suggestion?”
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