A SESSIONS court in Mumbai on Monday allowed an application filed by former tennis player Leander Paes to condone the delay in filing an appeal against a magistrate’s court order in the domestic violence case filed by his former partner model Rhea Pillai.
The court allowed the application subject to payment of Rs 20,000 within a month to Pillai. After the payment, the criminal appeal will be registered, the court said on Monday.
In February 2022, a magistrate court said Paes had “caused various acts of domestic violence” and directed payment of monthly maintenance to Pillai, along with other reliefs. While an appeal against such an order can be filed within a limited time, Paes filed a criminal application last year seeking condonation of the delay in filing the appeal. His plea said the delay in filing the appeal “is with sufficient cause and is not on account of any dilatory tactics”.
According to Paes’s plea, there were voluminous documents in the case and it took considerable time to retrieve all the papers and proceedings. Paes also said that he had to constantly travel to Kolkata since he took care of his father and this caused a delay in collating the required documents to file the appeal.
The plea sought condonation of the delay of 214 days in filing the appeal. The court allowed the plea and said the appeal would be heard subject to compliance of certain conditions.
In his appeal, Paes said that the nature of the relationship between him and Pillai was not in the “nature of marriage” and that he had remained cordial with her, despite their relationship breaking down, for the sake of their child, born in 2006.
Pillai had filed a plea in the court under the Domestic Violence Act in 2014, alleging that she was subjected to domestic violence by Paes, who she was in a relationship with since 2003 and was living with him from 2005-06.
Paes in his plea said that his apartment was mortgaged and he was unable to take care of Pillai’s financial demands. He claimed he had been taking care of his daughter’s financial responsibilities, while she ‘splurged on herself’.
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