Mumbai, April 9: Three years after late Bollywood actor Rajesh Khanna's death, legal fight between his family members and his alleged live-in partner continues.
However, to a much relief for Rajesh Khanna's family members, the Bombay High Court on Thursday, April 9 quashed a complaint of domestic violence lodged against them by the late actor's alleged live-in partner.
Anita Advani, the complainant, hurled domestic violence allegation against Rajesh Khanna's wife Dimple Kapadia, daughters Twinkle Khanna, Rinki Khanna and son-in-law Akshay Kumar,
Justice M L Tahaliyani allowed petitions filed by Dimple, Twinkle and Akshay seeking quashing of proceedings initiated against them by a lower court based on a complaint lodged by Advani.
Quashing the proceedings, Justice Tahaliyani observed that Advani's relation with Khanna was not of the nature of marriage and hence, she cannot seek relief under the provisions of Domestic Violence Act.
The court further held that all family members of Rajesh Khanna cannot be roped into the proceedings as Advani had never lived with them.
Soon after the High Court passed the order, Advani's lawyers sought a stay on it, but it was refused. Advani had in 2013 filed a complaint before a magistrate under the provisions of Domestic Violence Act against Dimple, daughters Twinkle and Rinkie and Akshay.
Advani had claimed that she was evicted from Rajesh Khanna's suburban bungalow ‘Aashirwad' after his death, and had sought monthly maintenance and a three-bedroom flat in Bandra.
The magistrate had then issued notices to them for their reply, following which they approached the HC seeking quashing of the proceedings against them.
The high court had earlier this year discharged Rinkie from the case after observing that she was married and lived in Kolkata and hence, offence under the Domestic Violence Act cannot be made out against her.
Senior counsels Shirish Gupte and Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for the family, argued that Advani cannot claim relief under the DV Act and maintenance as Dimple and her family were not living with Khanna or Advani.
In her petition, Dimple had contended that she was the legally-wedded wife of Khanna and as such no other woman could claim share in the wealth left behind by her husband.
Dimple's counsel Gupte had argued that a woman in a live-in relationship with a married man cannot claim relief under the DV Act. He argued that Khanna and Advani's relation can be at the most described as "adulterous".
Akshay's counsel Jethmalani argued that Advani cannot come to court on sympathy. "Her (Advani) case at the most can be of wrongful dispossession but not under domestic violence.
Assuming that she is right, she can file a civil suit and challenge the will," he said.
Rajesh Khanna, the first Hindi film actor to gain super stardom in Indian films, died on July 18, 2012, after a brief illness.
(With agency inputs)