25 aug 2012
6 months cooling period not to come in way of divorce by mutual consent: SC
The Supreme Court has held the six months cooling period should not come in the way for allowing the plea for dissolution of marriage by mutual consent when it has broken down irretrievably.
Agreeing that “technicality should be tampered by pragmatism, if substantive justice was to be done to the parties,” a bench comprising justices Altamas Kabir and J Chelameswar said there may be occasions when in order to do complete justice to the parties it becomes necessary for this Court to invoke its powers under Article 142 in an irreconcilable situation.
“We have carefully considered the submissions made on behalf of the parties and have also considered our earlier decision. It is no doubt true that the Legislature had in its wisdom stipulated a cooling period of six months from the date of filing of a petition for mutual divorce till such divorce is actually granted, with the intention that it would save the institution of marriage.
“It is also true that the intention of the Legislature cannot be faulted with, but there may be occasions when in order to do complete justice to the parties it becomes necessary for this Court to invoke its powers under Article 142 in an irreconcilable situation,” the bench said.
The bench allowed the appeal of a couple, the woman based in Delhi and her husband in Canada, against the order of the lower court which on April 13 posted the hearing of their joint petition on October 15 for the purpose of second motion, as contemplated under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act which deals with divorce by mutual consent.