The Supreme Court on Thursday asked actor Prashanth and V.D. Grahalakshmi to explore the possibility of a settlement in the matrimonial dispute between them following a statement made on behalf of the latter that she wanted to settle the matter.
A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadhaya posted the appeal filed by Ms. Grahalakshmi for further hearing on November 27 to enable the parties to work out a settlement. The appeal is directed against a judgment of the Madras High Court upholding a trial court’s order declaring void her marriage with Mr. Prashanth.
Earlier, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Ms. Grahalakshmi, argued that the High Court had erroneously dismissed the appeal in spite of having held that registration of Hindu marriage [her marriage allegedly with Narayanan Venu Prasad in November 1998] was not a substantial proof of Hindu marriage.
However, he informed the court that she wanted a settlement and would independently fight the divorce case filed by Mr. Prasad.
When Justice Singhvi wanted to know from senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the actor whether he would go for a settlement, he said, “We will try and work out a settlement.” The actor would create an endowment for the welfare of their six-year-old son.
Justice Singhvi then told both counsel that to facilitate settlement they must withdraw criminal petitions filed against each other.
The Bench adjourned the proceedings to November 27 to explore the possibility of a settlement.
According to Ms. Grahalakshmi, the marriage between the two took place on September 1, 2005. A child was born to them in 2006. Acting on a petition from Mr. Prashanth the Principal Judge, Family Court, Chennai had on April 30, 2009 held the marriage void and on appeal the High Court confirmed the order and dismissed the appeal. The present special leave petition is directed against this judgment.
Mr. Prashanth had contended that Ms. Grahalakshmi had earlier married Mr. Prasad in November 1998 and the marriage had been registered.
This fact was never disclosed to the actor. The suppression and non-disclosure of this material fact by her and family members amounted to a fraud. The family court declared the marriage void.