Delhi HC waives six-months cooling-off period, grants mutual divorce to couple
The Delhi High Court has waived the six-month cooling off period under the law and granted divorce decree to an estranged couple by mutual consent, observing that keeping them tied to a legal bond would only mean snatching away from them the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life.
A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Dinesh Kumar Sharma said that in this case both the man and woman are well educated and independent individuals who have mutually decided the fate of their marriage and they are at an age where they may start a new life if given a chance.
“However, keeping them tied to a legal bond would only mean snatching away from them the opportunity ever to lead a fulfilling life,” it said.
The court's observation came while setting aside a family court's order which had rejected the second motion petition moved by the parties jointly under the Hindu Marriage Act on the ground that the statutory period of six months from the date when the first motion was moved, and period of 18 months from the date of separation, has not expired.
The man and woman had got married in November 2016 and due to disputes between them, they decided to part ways and were not cohabiting as husband and wife since October 2020.
The parties had submitted that all efforts of reconciliation and resolution of differences by their family members and well-wishers had failed at multiple forums. Realising the agony and pain of an abusive marriage, the parties had reached an overall settlement and executed the settlement deed in October 2021, resolving all their pending disputes and claims and filed for mutual divorce.
The family court, however, rejected the second motion petition which the estranged couple challenged in the high court.
The high court set aside the family court's order and said it does not consider it appropriate to remand the matter to the family court since the parties have been separated since October 2020 and they have arrived at an overall settlement concerning all the inter se disputes and claims.
“The counsel also informed us that other terms and conditions of the settlement have already been adhered to. Even otherwise, 18 months from the date of separation of the parties would expire on April 2, 2022. Considering the fact that not even a month is left for that date to arrive, we, accordingly, allow the same and pass a decree of divorce by mutual consent of the parties under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 after waiving the statutory period under Section 13B of the Act,” the bench said.