oppn parties Hindu Divorce: Waiting Period Can be Waived

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  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Hindu Divorce: Waiting Period Can be Waived

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Supreme Court has said that the mandatory waiting period of 6 months for divorce by mutual consent under the Hindu Marriage Act can be waived off under certain circumstances. The court has elaborated that the purpose of the waiting period was to try for reconciliation between the spouses. But if the respective parties have irreconcilable differences, as evinced by the facts of the case, then there is no point in prolonging the proceedings and wasting time. If circumstances demand, a divorce by mutual consent can be granted within a week.

The court specified that if the couple has been staying separately for more than a year and has already settled the issues of child guardianship and alimony, then the courts can grant them divorce by completing the formalities within a week. This is an extremely sane decision. If the couple has drifted apart, it is natural that both the families have tried to bring them back together. If that has not been possible for a period of one year, another six months mandatory waiting would be worthless.

Before this, the Supreme Court used to invoke powers granted to it under Article 142 of the constitution to dispense “complete justice” and granted divorce by mutual consent to a couple without waiting for the mandatory waiting period to be over. In the case Aditi Wadhera v Vivek Kumar Wadhera recently, the court took the view that invocation of Article 142 was justified and required to meet the ends of justice, and granted divorce to the couple after they submitted that they had resolved all pending and contentious issues amicably.

With the apex court having now said that the mandatory waiting period is no longer to be treated as sacrosanct if the above conditions are fulfilled, family courts can grant early divorce decrees, saving valuable court time without compromising on the quality of justice. This is good news for couples whose marriages have broken down irretrievably but who cannot move on due to the letter of the law that requires them to wait for a total of at least 18 months for divorce.