Sunday, May 19, 2024

SC says it can dissolve marriage on ground of “irretrievable breakdown”

A Constitution bench on Monday ruled that the Supreme Court can dissolve a marriage on the ground of irretrievable breakdown by dispensing with the need for the waiting period as required under the marital laws.

A Constitution Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, Abhay S Oka, Vikram Nathand JK Maheshwari held that the six month period prescribed under the Hindu Marriage Act can be dispensed with.

“Article 142 must be considered in light of the fundamental rights. It should contravene a non-derogable function of the Constitution. Court under the power is empowered to complete justice,” the Bench said.

The verdict came in a batch of petitions concerning the use of the apex court’s plenary powers to dissolve a marriage between consenting parties without referral to family courts to wait for the mandatory period prescribed under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, Bar and Bench reported.

Article 142 of the Constitution deals with the enforcement of decrees and orders of the Supreme Court of India to do “complete justice” in any matter pending before it.

The case was referred to a five-judge bench seven years ago by a Division Bench of Justices Shiva Kirti Singh and R Banumathi (both retired) in a transfer petition. After hearing arguments, the Constitution Bench reserved its judgment on September 29, 2022.


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