oppn parties Mutual Consent Divorce: Waiting Period Can be Waived Only by Supreme Court

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  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • 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
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Mutual Consent Divorce: Waiting Period Can be Waived Only by Supreme Court

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 once again invoked 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, 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.

Ever since the apex court used this discretion in Anjana Kishore v Puneet Kishore, lower courts and high courts thought it was a precedent and for some time chose to waive off this mandatory waiting period, disregarding the fact that it was there in the statute to allow the parties to attempt a reconciliation. Only the Supreme Court could use Article 142 to grant immediate divorce in rare cases where it was justified. It took a clarification from the apex court in Anil Kumar Jain v Maya Jain to put a stop to the practice in lower courts.

The couple has to live separately for one year, file for grant of divorce by mutual consent thereafter and then wait for six months before the divorce decree can be issued in lower courts. It is also required that mutual consent of both partners is there at both times – when filing the application and six months later when the order is to be made. In case of urgency, only a special leave petition before the apex court can get them an early divorce if the court thinks fit to pass an order by invoking Article 142.