The Supreme Court, on Monday, granted one year to a family court for adjudicating the dispute between ace tennis player Leander Paes and his estranged live-in partner Rhea Pillai in a maintenance case.
The family court judge in a letter written to the top court had sought extension of time for completing the proceedings in the case.
A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Vineet Sharan perused the letter written in June 2018 and granted one year to the family court to complete the proceedings.
This is the second time the top court has extended the period for completing proceedings.
On March 16 last year it had granted 3-month extension to the family court to adjudicate the dispute between Paes and Pillai. The matter was not adjudicated by then, following which the family court judge had written to the top court.
The couple have been locked in a legal battle over maintenance and custody of their daughter since 2014, when Pillai filed a case of domestic violence and harassment against Paes and his father.
On July 18, 2017, the Supreme Court had referred the matter back to a family court and directed it to adjudicate the dispute between the two within six months after they had failed to settle the issues amicably in mediation.
The apex court had then said, "We are of the view that the entirety of the case, instead of any particular issue as a preliminary issue, may be decided by the trial court. Hearing of the matter may be expedited and as far as possible the proceedings be completed within a period of six months."
It had directed both Paes and Pillai to appear before the family court for further proceedings.
Earlier, the apex court had observed that it cannot force Paes and Pillai to arrive at a settlement in a maintenance case, even after having accorded them in-chamber hearing.
Pillai had asked Paes for a house but he did not agree to the proposal saying that she had already got a house from Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt (her former husband).
Pillai had then said that Paes was not agreeing to give anything, neither the house, nor the money.
The apex court had earlier asked the estranged couple, who have a daughter from their relationship, to settle their dispute amicably out of court. Pillai had approached the apex court for maintenance under the Domestic Violence Act.
Paes had opposed Pillai's plea, saying he was not married to her.
Pillai had challenged a Bombay High Court order of November 2016 which had refused to grant her any relief in the dispute.
The High Court had also asked the couple to work out an amicable solution. However, they had failed to arrive at a settlement.
After getting divorce from actor Sanjay Dutt, Pillai had moved in with Paes and was in a live-in relationship with him.