Mumbai: With tennis star Leander Paes and his now estranged girlfriend Rhea Pillai warring since the last few years, the Bombay High Court on Friday stepped in and asked the couple to settle things amidst themselves amicably.
Rhea, who had levelled allegations against Paes and his father for harassment, had moved an application in the Family Court under certain sections of Domestic Violence Act.
In her application, Rhea had sought directions for not dismissing her from the house where she claims to be living with Paes since the last few years. She had also sought maintenance from Paes.
In response to her plea, Paes too filed an application in the Family Court and questioned the ‘maintainability’ of Rhea’s plea and had argued that Rhea was not his ‘wife’ since both of them had never married.
However, after hearing both the sides, the Family Court had rejected Paes’s plea following which the tennis star had moved to the sessions court to challenge the Family Court’s decision.
After going through the application, the sessions judge had ruled in favour of Paes saying that ‘before drawing any conclusions it is necessary to hear the evidences of both the sides.’
Aggrieved by the sessions judge’s decision, on Friday, Rhea moved an application before the single-judge bench of Justice Revati Mohite-Dhere and challenged the said order.
Before hearing the plea, Justice Mohit-Dhere was of the view that the couple should first make an attempt to settle down things amidst themselves with the help of a ‘trained mediator’ since the couple has a child of 10-years old from their ‘live-in relationship.’
The bench asked both the parties if they wish to go for a ‘settlement’, Rhea’s counsel Shyam Marwadi answered in affirmation but Abad Ponda, the counsel who appeared for Paes, told the court that the couple had tried everything to settle down the dispute but nothing fruitful has been achieved yet.
Observing the scenario, both the counsels mutually asked if Justice Mohite-Dhere could intervene and sought for a chamber summons for counselling the couple.
However, the bench allowed their submissions and accepted to speak
to the couple to settle down the dispute.