The Delhi High Court, in a bid to curb divorce through fraudulent means, has issued a slew of guidelines, including asking trial judges to put their signatures on photographs of estranged spouses.
Justice Kailash Gambhir also imposed an exemplary cost of Rs. 2 lakh on a man who fraudulently secured a decree of divorce from his estranged wife.
Justice Gambhir dismissed the appeal filed by the man against the lower court which had set aside the divorce decree after it was established by his wife that she neither signed the joint petition nor appeared or consented to mutual annulment of their marriage.
The court issued a slew of guidelines to “ensure that such fraudulent acts are not committed again in matrimonial/family courts”.
“All the matrimonial/family courts shall take care that they put their own signatures on the photographs of the parties at the time of recording statements of the parties in the joint motion petitions under Section 13B(1) and Section 13B(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955,” it said.
“The concerned ministerial staff attached with the matrimonial/family courts shall ensure the photographs on the joint motion petitions are pasted and not stapled,” it added.
The decision came on an appeal filed by Nikunj Singh who had married Simran Kaur in Gurgaon in 2002 and was later awarded the divorce on April 22, 2008, on the ground that he and his wife mutually wanted to separate. However, the lower court set aside its own verdict after the woman alleged fraud and established that she did not appear and consent to the divorce proceedings.