SC asks estranged wife of industrialist to look for house of her choice on rent in Mumbai

New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) The Supreme Court Thursday asked Poonam Bhagat, socialite estranged wife of industrialist Jaidev Shroff, to 'locate a premises of her choice' in Mumbai as her estranged husband agreed to pay the rent till the final disposal of their divorce plea by a family court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked senior lawyers P Chidambaram and Shyam Divan, counsels for the woman, that they should take instruction from her and intimate it on the next date of hearing.

The senior lawyers 'state that she will locate a premises of her choice as her residence' said the bench which also comprised Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant.

The bench noted the submission of senior advocate A M Singhvi, representing Jaidev Shroff, that his client was willing to pay the rent of any premises of her choice till the final adjudication of the divorce petition by the Bandra family court.

Singhvi said the counsel for the other side should not be insisting that she would be living in the house of his client.

Chidambaram said Bhagat be allowed to live in their matrimonial house in Mumbai as her husband lives in London and comes to Mumbai only for two-three days.

'You locate a house of your choice. He will pay the rent. Why you are behind his house,' the bench said, adding that the rent will be paid till the family court finally decides their divorce petition.

The bench asked Bhagat's lawyers to intimate it about her views after two weeks and indicated that it may direct the family court to decide their divorce plea within a particular time frame.

Earlier, the Bombay High court had permitted Bhagat to enter their 'shared household', a bungalow at tony Pali Hill in Bandra.

At the outset, Singhvi said that Shroff -- had lodged an FIR against his wife for allegedly trying to administer drugs through orange juice with the help of a 'Bengali Baba' and even the charge sheet has been filed in that case.

The other side vehemently denied the allegations.

Singhvi said he had offered Rs 90 crore towards full and final settlement of the divorce dispute, but it was not agreed upon.

The bench has now posted the matter after two weeks. PTI SJK ABA MNL RKS SA