Make Contested Divorces Simpler With A Definite Timeline…..This is the only echo one can hear after reading two back-to-back cases in Supreme Court this week. The top court has once again invoked its special power under Article 142 of the Constitution to grant divorce in the below case, where marriage has broken beyond repair after couple parted ways 16-years ago.
The husband, a police officer in West Bengal, married the woman in 1997 and registered it under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Thereafter, the marriage was solemnised between the parties in 2000 under the Hindu rites and customs.
Alleging cruelty and desertion by the wife, the man filed a suit for dissolution of marriage on March 5, 2007 before the District Judge, Alipore. The wife kept contesting the same, despite no co-habitation since past 16-years.
Pleading for the dissolution, senior advocate Nikhil Nayyar, appearing for the police officer, said the marriage is dead for all practical purposes. As the wife was not represented by any lawyer, the court appointed advocate Ranjan Mukherjee as amicus curiae to talk to her but he could not persuade her for amicable settlement.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dissolved a two-decade-old marriage saying the alliance between the couple is emotionally dead and there is no point in persuading the parties to live together any more.
The apex court passed the decree of divorce dissolving the marriage after exercising its plenary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution. The court remarked that the marriage was virtually dead.
Allowing the plea of the husband, whose divorce was not allowed by family court and High Court, a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai said that the husband and the wife were living separately for more than 16-years and it was impossible for them to live together again under one roof as a couple.
Supreme Court remarked,
Having scrutinised the material on record and considering the submissions made by Nikhil Nayyar and Ranjan Mukherjee, without commenting on the merits of the matter, the marriage between the parties is emotionally dead and there is no point in persuading them to live together any more.
The court also awarded permanent alimony to the woman, who was accused for being “cruel” to her husband. The court said,
This is a fit case for exercise of jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India. The marriage between the parties is dissolved, husband to pay Rs 25 lakh to wife as a full and final settlement.
The apex court directed that the petition filed by the wife for maintenance shall be withdrawn on receipt of the amount of Rs 25 lakh. The court said,
The payment of the aforesaid amount is in full and final settlement of all claims of the Respondent against the Appellant.
Irretrievable Breakdown in Marriage As Grounds for Divorce
As irretrievable breakdown of marriage has not been given legal backing as a ground for granting divorce by amending the law despite repeated recommendations of law commission starting from 1978, it is the Supreme Court which becomes the last resort for aggrieved spouses (most often the husbands), to get the marriage dissolved after continuously being denied legal separation by family and high courts.
On Monday, another husband was granted divorce by Supreme Court invoking Article 142 of the Constitution, where the wife fled from her reception hall in 2002 and the couple did not reside together even for a single day.
Supreme Court Grants Divorce To Husband After 20-Years Where Couple Didn’t Live Together Even For A Day
As relevant, in both these back-to-back cases, divorce was contested by estranged wives, despite complete breakdown in marriage, with no emotional or physical bond. The system is equally to be blamed as the women in these cases. When Gender Biased Laws allow women to legally trap men for life, irrespective of whichever party is at fault, the misuse is rampant.
Men end up spending prime years in court, paying through their nose for endless hearing dates and maintenance to their estranged wives, yet see no hope. Women, use this as a tool to satisfy their sadistic ego because India still does not have a no fault divorce.
Marriage cannot be a lifelong punishment for any spouse, if the bond is completely broken. When it comes to alimony, women are still on the upper side, as one time money is paid by the husband, even in cases where he has been the sufferer.
Supreme Court Grants Divorce To Husband After 17-Years; ‘Cruel’ Wife Gets Rs 1.5 Crore Alimony
Unfortunately, people in India are constantly fed with one-sided sob stories of how women are the only aggrieved party in a divorce. However, it is only the families of Men – who are legally trapped for life – realise the pain and injustice done to them, all in the name of women empowerment.
Today, husbands and their parents have become puppets due to rampant threats by disgruntled wives – either for filing false dowry, domestic violence, marital rape cases or, where wives walk out with children ensuring no communication between the infants and their fathers, their paternal grandparents.
Matrimonial Laws in India have armed women in a way that they can manipulate and abuse the system to an extent, where even judiciary becomes handicapped many a times.
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