Divorce cannot be granted without hearing both parties: SC | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Divorce cannot be granted without hearing both parties: SC

The Supreme Court has come down heavily on a matrimonial court for granting divorce to a woman without hearing her estranged husband, saying marriage is an institution of "great social relevance" and is not for mere "sexual gratification".

delhi Updated: May 26, 2009 11:02 IST

The Supreme Court has come down heavily on a matrimonial court for granting divorce to a woman without hearing her estranged husband, saying marriage is an institution of "great social relevance" and is not for mere "sexual gratification".

"Marriage is certainly not a mere reciprocal possession of sexual organs...Nor can it be romanticised as a relationship," a three-judge bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and justices P Sathasivam and Asok Kumar Ganguly said.

The apex court's observation came in a verdict while dismissing the appeal of Smruti Paharaya, who had challenged the Bombay High Court judgment, quashing the divorce decree passed by a lower court without hearing her estranged husband.

Her husband challenged the divorce in the High Court on the ground that he was not heard by the Bandra matrimonial court which advanced the actual date of hearing without giving him the intimation.

"This court strongly disapproves of the aforesaid manner in which the proceeding was conducted in this case. A court's proceeding must have a sanctity and fairness. It cannot be conducted for the convenience of one party alone," the bench observed.