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(May 02, 2008) On April 1, 2008, the High Court of Bombay, India, ruled that a couple seeking divorce by mutual consent cannot dissolve the marriage within a few months, but must wait for a year after solemnization of the marriage, as prescribed by section 13(B) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, before applying for the court's permission for the dissolution. The court issued the ruling in dismissing the petition of a city-based couple who challenged the constitutional validity of the above-cited provision, pleading for legal separation within six months of their marriage.

The court observed that "[I]n the age of IT, [the] tendency to take impulsive decisions are [sic] on the rise but the ability to act faster in a modernized age must not result in instant decisions relating to delicate human relationships." (Marriage Cannot Be Dissolved at the Drop of a Hat: HC, THE INDIAN EXPRESS, April 1, 2008, http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Marriage-cannot-be-dissolved-at-the-drop-
of-ahat--HC/291112/
.) In dismissing the petition, the court stated that the statutory period of one year is meant to be a healing time to ponder over mutual differences. The petitioners' attorney argued that the one-year period is unreasonable and bears no relationship to the objective behind the scheme of divorce by mutual consent. In rejecting this argument, the court stated that in such a case a petition by mutual consent of divorce would be filed just few days after the marriage and "there would be no attempt to even fairly understand each other and resolve minor differences…." (Id.)

Author: Krishan Nehra More by this author
Topic: Families More on this topic
Jurisdiction: India More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 05/02/2008