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No divorce in a hurry

delhi Updated: Feb 16, 2010 00:39 IST
Satya Prakash

The Supreme Court on Monday snubbed a young and highly qualified couple for seeking quick annulment of their marriage and abusing the process of law by filing two parallel divorce proceedings in Gurgaon and Delhi.

A bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice B.S. Chauhan dismissed their plea to waive the statutory six-month period to move the second motion for divorce by mutual consent. The husband had challenged a Delhi court’s order refusing to do so.

“This case reveals a very sorry state of affairs…the parties…being highly qualified, have claimed even to be higher and above the law, and (that they) have a vested right to use, abuse and abuse the process of the court,” the bench said.

Mohan and Rakhi (names changed) got married on July 23, 2008. Three months later, their relationship soured and they split. Mohan is a CA, CS and ICWA, and Rakhi a doctor (M.D., Radio-Diagnosis).

Mohan filed a divorce case in a Gurgaon court.

After being persuaded by friends and family, the two reached a compromise and agreed to opt for divorce by mutual consent.

A joint petition was filed for divorce before a family court in Delhi. Their statement was recorded on November 16, 2009. They moved another petition asking the court to waive the six-month period required to make the second motion, confirming their decision to get the marriage annulled.

However, the Delhi court said it was not competent to do so. Only the Supreme Court had such power, it said.

Mohan then went to the SC and argued that under Article 142, the court was competent to pass any order to grant divorce even if statutory requirements were not met.

Admitting that the SC has passed such orders where marriage was “totally unworkable”, it said generally, no court has the competence to issue a direction contrary to law.

Criticising the couple for moving a family court in Delhi while their divorce case was pending in Gurgaon, the SC said: “Such a procedure

adopted by the petitioner amounts to abuse of the process of the court.”