SC Exercises Power Under Article 142 To Grant Divorce By Mutual Consent On Irretrievable Breakdown Of Marriage
While considering a transfer petition seeking divorce under Section 13(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA), the Supreme Court recently quashed an FIR filed under Section 125 of the CrPC which was pending before the Family Court, Lucknow.
Observing that the parties, husband and wife have suffered an irretrievable breakdown of marriage, a Two Judge Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah said that this “is a fit case to exercise the power vested under Article 142 of the Constitution of India by closing all cases filed by the parties against each other and also granting a decree of mutual consent divorce”.
Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain appeared for the Petitioner, whereas, Advocate Raj Singh Rana appeared for the Respondent.
In a brief background of the case, the parties married in 2016 and separated in 2021 without the birth of any child. The Petitioner’s (wife) father filed an FIR for offences punishable under Sections 498A, 323, and 354 of IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The Petitioner herself also filed Maintenance Case under Section 125 of the CrPC which is pending before the Family Court, Lucknow.
The matter stood referred to the Supreme Court Mediation Centre but failed. Although it was submitted on behalf of Respondent that he was willing for a mutual consent divorce, however, no agreement could be reached insofar as permanent alimony was concerned. Hence, the petition seeking transfer of the Divorce Petition under Section 13(1) of the HMA, pending before the Principal Judge, Family Court, Indore, to the Family Court, Lucknow was filed before the Apex Court.
After considering the facts in entirety, the Apex Court granted a decree of divorce to the concerned parties by way of mutual consent and directed that the decree is to be issued after payment of permanent alimony.
Accordingly, the Apex Court quantified the amount of permanent alimony to be paid by the Respondent to the Petitioner at Rs.35 lacs within six months.
The Bench, however, made it clear that if the permanent alimony is not paid by the Respondent to the Petitioner within the stipulated time period, then FIR shall stand revived.
This comes in the wake of a verdict delivered by a 5-judge Bench of the Court on May 1 which held that it can invoke its special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to dissolve a marriage on the ground of irretrievable breakdown.
*Article 142 of the Constitution deals with the enforcement of decrees and orders of the apex court to do "complete justice" in any matter pending before it.*
Cause Title: Mansi Khatri v. Gaurav Khatri