Friday, July 8, 2011

Are you in hurry to get a divorce?

Divorce, a thing which was almost unheard of a decade ago and the pursuing parties used to be looked down upon then, has become so common these days that marriage as an institution seems loosing its importance in India. Marriage at one time considered to be an union of two souls to be continued for seven lives gets broken in India at the drop of a hat. Equanimity between the partners has become too remote a thing in today's era of only accumulation and no experience.
Believe you me, I have cases where exceptionally better off and intellectually sound people part ways on too insignificant developments which would have been OK between two friends and such cases sadden me. My approach to every case so far has been to reunite the couple if the differences have not taken them too far and is not beyond bridging. A good number of divorce cases I have succeeded to kill them right in my chamber and sent the couple back happy. But then there are the ones where keeping the parties together would only bring in more damages to them individually as well as to the people around their lives and these are the cases where amicable separation is to be advocated.
There are two legal ways of obtaining divorce viz. contested and mutual.
Contested is too painful a process to go through and should be better avoided but cases where parties are not willing to cooperate and have declared war on each other, there is no other way.
Mutual is most respectful way of amicably settling the issues and separating with dignity intact.
Fortunately or unfortunately, even mutual takes minimum six months for the divorce to come through though it is way far better than 5-6 years of a contested divorce suit in getting decided.
Prior to a 2009 judgment of Hon'ble Supreme Court, the six months, statutorily provided period to separate the two motions of a mutual divorce case, the court used to be willing to waive off if the parties could be shown living separately for a longer period but post 2009 judgment of Apex Court, this possibility is no longer available except with the Apex Court itself.
Since this holier-than-thou discretion the Apex Court reserved it for itself, people, wealthy and in hurry, seeking divorce use ways and means to utilize this discretion available with Hon'ble Supreme Court. One such instance I came across in the following case. In case you can't make out what I am hinting at please feel free to write to me.
Priyanka Singh Vs. Jayant Singh on 10 November, 2009
Bench: Harjit Singh Bedi, J.M. Panchal

CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

TRANSFER PETITION (C) NO.400 OF 2009

Priyanka Singh ...Petitioner Versus

Jayant Singh ...Respondent ORDER

1. This is a petition for transfer of Divorce Petition No.1118 of 2008 titled Shri Jayant Singh vs. Smt. Priyanka Singh pending in the Court of Civil Judge (Senior Division), Gautam Budh Nagar (U.P.) to District Court, Koderma (Jharkhand).

2. While issuing notice, this Court stayed further proceedings of the divorce case. On 15.5.2009, the parties appeared in person and presented a joint application for grant of decree of divorce by mutual consent. However, as the averments necessary for making out a case under Section 2

13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (for short `the Act') were not made in the application, the case was adjourned with a direction to the parties to file an appropriate application. Thereafter, the parties jointly filed I.A. No.3 of 2009 with the prayer that their marriage be dissolved by granting a decree of divorce by mutual consent. They also filed an application (I.A. No.4 of 2009) under Section 13B of the Act for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce by mutual consent by stating therein that due to temperamental incompatibility, the parties have not been able to live together as husband and wife; that they have been living separately since 12.3.2005 and that the marriage is irretrievably broken down. It has also been averred that there is no chance of reconciliation between the parties and after due intervention of the family members and other relatives, they have decided to seek a decree of divorce by mutual consent. Both the I.As are supported by the affidavits of the parties.

3. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record. Keeping in view the fact that the parties are living separately for last more than 4 years and 6 months and there is no chance of reconciliation between them and also the fact that they have agreed to dissolve their marriage by mutual consent without any coercion or undue influence, we deem it proper to accept the prayer made in the two 3

applications for dissolution of marriage. Accordingly, Divorce Petition No.1118 of 2008 titled Shri Jayant Singh vs. Smt. Priyanka Singh pending in the Court of Civil Judge (Senior Division), Gautam Budh Nagar (U.P.) is transferred to this Court and marriage between the parties is dissolved by granting a decree of divorce by mutual consent in terms of Section 13B of the Act.

4. The transfer petition is disposed of in the manner indicated above. ........................................J.

[R.V. RAVEENDRAN]

......................................J.

[G.S. SINGHVI]

New Delhi

November 10, 2009

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