The Madhya Pradesh High Court, has set aside the 6 months “cooling off” period as given under Section 13-B (2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for grant of mutual consent for a couple living separately for more than a year.
This was observed in the case of Vaibhav Pancholi v. Priya [Miscellaneous Petition No.4135/2022], presided over by Justice Subodh Abhyankar.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The Petitioner’s [husband] and the Respondent’s [wife] marriage was solemnized as per the Hindu Marriage Act in 2020, who then have been living separately for 14 months had filed an application under Section 13-B of the Act for divorce by “mutual consent”.
a joint application to waive off the cooling period of six months period as provided for by Section 13B (2) of the Act was filed since the petitioner is a Software Engineer and he is due to leave India on a short notice, which request was rejected by the Family Court, Indore citing the decision in Amardeep Singh v. Harveen Kaur, 2017 (8) SCC 746.
Counsel has also relied upon a subsequent decision rendered by the Supreme Court in the case of Amit Kumar v. Suman Beniwal reported in 2021 SCC On Line SC 1270, it has already been held by the Supreme Court that even the conditions as enumerated in the case of Amardeep Singh v. Harveen Kaur (supra) are not mandatory and the Court can also exercise its discretion taking into account the other circumstances as well. The respondent wife has already withdrawn all the cases lodged against the petitioner and has also received a bank draft of Rs.11 lacs towards the permanent alimony.
JUDGEMENT OF THE CASE
The court held that, considering the fact that the parties have been already living separately since more than one year and two months (14 months), and that the respondent has already withdrawn all the cases lodged against the petitioner and has also received a bank draft of Rs.11 lacs towards the permanent alimony, this Court is of the considered opinion that the application to waive the cooling off period of six months ought to have been allowed.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY VYSHNAVI KRISHNAN.