Supreme Court’s Huge Order On 6-Month Waiting Period For Divorce
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today ruled that marriages can be dissolved on the grounds of “irretrievable breakdown” under Article 142 of the Constitution. It further said that the mandatory waiting period of 6 months for mutual consent divorce can be abolished. , subject to conditions.
“We have also laid down the factors which can determine when a marriage breaks down,” said a constitution bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjeev Khanna, AS Oka, Vikram Nath and JK Maheshwari. The bench also laid down how to balance the stakes, particularly in relation to maintenance, alimony and children’s rights.
The original issue referred to the Constitution Bench was whether the Supreme Court could, in exercise of its wide powers under Article 142, waive the mandatory waiting period for divorce by mutual consent under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act. Divorce broken marriages between consenting couples rather than sending them to family courts for lengthy judicial proceedings to obtain a decree of separation. However, during the hearing, the Constitution Bench decided to consider the issue of whether marriages can be dissolved on the ground of irretrievable breakdown.
“Article 142 has to be considered in the light of fundamental rights. It must be in violation of the contemptible operation of the Constitution. The court under the jurisdiction has the power to complete justice,” the bench said.
Article 142 of the Constitution provides for the enforcement of the decrees and orders of the Supreme Court and provides for “complete justice” in any matter pending before it.
The case was referred to a five-judge bench seven years ago by a division bench comprising Justices Sivakeerthi Singh and R Banumathi (both retired) on a transfer petition. After hearing the arguments, the Constitution Bench adjourned the judgment to September 29, 2022.