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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Mahajans head for splitsville

Sanjeev K Ahuja & Sweta Ramanujan-Dixit, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon/Mumbai, December 13, 2007
First Published: 16:32 IST(13/12/2007) | Last Updated: 00:52 IST(14/12/2007)
Rahul Mahajan and Gurgaon girl Shweta have decided to end their 15-month-old marriage.

Almost a year after problems in their marriage first made it to the headlines, Shweta on Thursday filed a "mutual divorce petition" — reportedly signed by Rahul as well — in the court of District Session Judge in Gurgaon. The matter will come up for hearing on January 24 next year.

Rahul, son of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, married Shweta on August 29 last year, three months after his father's death. The two had met during a pilot-training course at an academy in the US.

Outside the Gurgaon court, Shweta just said "yes" when asked if Rahul has also consented for divorce. Rahul, who is in Mumbai, told HT: "It is a mutual and private matter… I do not want to discuss it."

Shweta's counsel Harish Malhotra said: "She has taken the plea that she and Rahul Mahajan have been living separately since December 2, 2006. She has pleaded that all their marriage-related issues are settled and both of them are under no pressure to take this step. Thus, they should be granted divorce."

The judge has asked Rahul to be present in the court on the next date of hearing.

That the marriage was turning sour was first reported in November 2006. Rahul had to battle allegations of wife beating and Shweta too had denied any physical or verbal abuse by her husband. "I fell off a bicycle," was Shweta's explanation for a bruise on her arm. Rahul had denied the allegations, saying the media reports were "painful".

The days leading to the marriage were trying with Rahul's hospitalisation and subsequent arrest for substance abuse less than a month after his father's death. He allegedly consumed cocaine-laced champagne with Mahajan's trusted aide, Bibek Moitra. Moitra died in the incident. A month after he was granted bail, Rahul got engaged to Shweta.
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