The Supreme Court has held that the six-month cooling period should not come in the way of allowing the plea for dissolution of marriage by mutual consent when it has broken down irretrievably.
Agreeing that “technicality should be tempered with pragmatism if substantive justice was to be done to the parties,” a Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and J. Chelameswar said there might be occasions when to do complete justice to the parties “it becomes necessary for this court to invoke its powers under Article 142 in an irreconcilable situation.”
“We have carefully considered the submissions made on behalf of the parties and have also considered our earlier decision. It is no doubt true that the Legislature had in its wisdom stipulated a cooling period of six months from the date of filing of a petition for mutual divorce till such divorce is actually granted, with the intention that it would save the institution of marriage. In the instant case, the Bench allowed the appeal of a couple, the woman based in Delhi and her husband in Canada, against the order of the lower court which, on April 13, posted the hearing of their joint petition for October 15 for the purpose of second motion, as contemplated under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, which deals with divorce by mutual consent.