Yagya Bedi v Hari Gobind Bedi

CourtFamily Court (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date21 January 1974
Subject MatterMatrimonial Causes
Judgement NumberFCMC23/1974





ACTION NO.23 OF 1974


Yagya BEDI Pelitioner
Hari Gobind BEDI Respondent


Coram: Liu, D.J.

Date of Judgment: 21 January 1974




1. Mrs. Bedi filed a petition for separation, custody of the children and maintenance on the 14th January 1974. Before serving her petition, Mrs. Bedi applied ex parte for divers injunctions ordering her husband to remove himself from the matrimonial home, at Flat 101 Rocky Mount, Conduit Road, and restraining him from returning there to or using violence on the Petitioner and her children. I was informed that the matrimonial home was a flat of some 2,000 square feet in a post-war building. There was no evidence one way or the other, but there was every indication that the rental thereof would be in excess of $10,000.00, per annum. Therefore, further clarification on the rental value would seem to offer little in favour of the Petitioner, and the proceedings proceeded on the assumption that the matrimonial home, subjectmatter of the interim injunctions prayed for, was not within the usual jurisdiction of the Court. The affirmations in support of the ex parte summons established a prima facie case, and the only issue was whether the Court sitting in its divorce jurisdiction had jurisdiction to entertain the application. In general, the equitable jurisdiction of the District Courts is limited to matters set out in s.37 of the District Court Ordinance. For injunctions, they are further governed by s.52 of the same Ordinance. Suffice it to say that the District Courts have no jurisdiction to grant an injunction affecting immovable property with annual rental exceeding $5,000.00. The crux of the matter is whether the District Courts' jurisdiction to grant injunctions is more extensive in divorce proceedings.

2. I was greatly assisted by counsel, and I was sufficiently convinced to give a decision extempore. The petition filed by Mrs. Bedi had not been served, and naturally no Answer could have possibly been filed when the ex parte summons came before the Court. The Court was thus seized with jurisdiction in this matter as a divorce court. The jurisdiction of the Divorce County Courts in England to grant injunctions derives from s.74 of the County Courts Act 1959. See p.835 Rayden on Divorce 11th Ed. s.74(1) of the County Courts Act 1959 reads:

"Every County Court, as regards any cause of action for the time being within its jurisdiction, shall in any proceedings before it -

(a) grant such relief, redress or remedy or combination of remedies, either absolute or conditional; and
(b) give such and the like effect to every ground of defence

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