The Constitution bench of Supreme Court has pronounced an important verdict on Monday about the divorce. The Supreme Court can dissolve a marriage on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown as per its powers under the Article 142 of the Constitution. In addition, SC can grant a divorce without sending the parties to a family court where they must wait for between six and 18 months to obtain divorce by mutual consent. It added that the waiting period can be dispensed with.,
The five-judge bench comprising justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, AS Oka, Vikram Nath, and JK Maheshwari on Monday said the court’s powers under Article 142 are unhindered by statutory limitations. It added the constitutional provision empowers the court to issue any order to do complete justice between parties. The bench specified guidelines for the apex court while exercising its discretion in granting a divorce.
According to Hindustan Times report, irretrievable breakdown of marriage is not a ground available under the Hindu Marriage Act for couples seeking a divorce. But the Supreme Court has been granting decrees of divorce exercising its jurisdiction under Article 142 to do complete justice between the parties. Some of the other grounds for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act include adultery, desertion, conversion, and insanity.
The bench said the court can dissolve a marriage under Article 142 even in cases where one of the parties is not agreeable to divorce.
In June 2016, a two-judge bench referred to the larger bench of five judges the matter regarding the court’s exercise of powers under Article 142 to grant a divorce without sending the parties to a family court. It also sought clarity on the broad parameters for the exercise of powers under Article 142 to dissolve a marriage between the consenting parties.