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Both parties educated & thus, presumed to know their best interests: HC orders waiver of 6 month cooling-off period
Sangeeta Singh Vs Pardeep
Punjab and Haryana HC
About/from the judgment:
Noting that both parties to the marriage are over the age of 30 and are educated and that they would therefore be presumed to know as to what would be in their best interest, the High Court has ordered waiver of the compulsory six-month cooling off period before their divorce by mutual consent.
The petitioners before the court in this revision sought dissolution of their marriage by way of a decree of divorce under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, on the ground of mutual consent. This divorce petition was filed in June, 2020. They filed an application therein to waive the statutory waiting period of six months prescribed under Section 13-B(2) of the Act of 1955. By the order dated 06.08.2020, the Additional District Judge, Mohali, dismissed the said application.
"Broadly, such waiver can be considered if : (i) the statutory period of six months specified in Section 13-B(2), in addition to the statutory period of one year of separation of parties under Section 13-B(1) is already over before the first motion itself; (ii) All efforts for mediation/conciliation to re-unite the parties have failed and there is no likelihood of success in that direction by further efforts; (iii) the parties have genuinely settled their differences, including alimony, child custody or other pending issues and; (iv) the waiting period will only prolong their agony", reiterated the Single Judge, relying on the 2017 SC authority in Amardeep Singh's case.
The bench noted that the petitioners got married in November, 2010 but they have been living separately since January, 2018. According to them, there is no possibility of re-conciliation and they are firm in their resolve to get divorced. Further, the petitioners have executed a memorandum of understanding on 10.06.2020 settling all issues and there is no dispute even with regard to the custody of their minor daughter.
"Given the aforestated circumstances, this Court is of the opinion that this was a fit case for the learned Additional District Judge to exercise his discretion in their favour, in terms of the law laid down by the Supreme Court, referred to supra, and waive the waiting period", ruled the bench, setting aside the order dated 06.08.2020 refusing to waive the statutory waiting period.
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