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Mutual Divorce Before One Year Of Marriage

Mutual Divorce before one year of marriage

At times there are issues in a marriage right from the beginning and then husband and wife start living separately. As per section 13 B (1) of the Hindu Marriage Act, a petition for mutual divorce can only be presented if the parties have been living separately for one year or more and as per section 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act, a petition for divorce can be presented before one year of marriage only in cases of exceptional hardship.

In the present case, Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh granted divorce before the one year period of marriage, on the ground that both the parties are young and they started living together only after two days of marriage and they have already settled all the claims between them.

  • Court: Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh
  • Date: 06.08.2021
  • Case No.: FAO No.658 of 2021
  • Title: Shivani Yadav vs Amit Yadav

Brief facts:

  • Marriage of the parties was solemnized on 15.02.2021 according to Hindu rites and rituals at village Garhi Bazipur, Tehsil Sohna, District Gurugram. After the marriage, they lived in House No.315/3, Uttam Nagar, Rewari. Soon after the marriage, differences cropped up between the couple and the appellant (Shivani Yadav) came back to her parental house realizing that they could not live together.
  • Ultimately, they filed a joint petition under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act on 20.05.2021 seeking decree of divorce by way of mutual consent. Both the parties are living separately since 17.02.2021, as stated in their petition under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act.
  • Along with the said petition, they also filed an application under Section 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act with a prayer that mandatory period of one year before filing the petition under Section 13-B of the Act be reduced/condoned. However, the Family Court, Gurugram has not allowed the said application as well as petition under Section 13-B of the Act.

The Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh held that:

  • A Coordinate Bench of this Court in Mandeep Kaur Bajwa vs. Chetanjeet Singh Randhawa, 2015 (40) RCR(Civil) 198 was considering a case, where an application under Section 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act had been dismissed and the parties were not allowed to present the petition under Section 13-B of the Act before expiry of one year. In that case, the parties had lived together as husband and wife for about three months after marriage. Both were young and keeping in view that they were at the marriageable age, condonation of the period of one year was allowed.
  • In the facts of the present case, marriage between the parties was solemnized on 15.02.2021. At the time of marriage, appellant-Shivani Yadav was 22½ years of age and was student of M.Sc. Respondent-Amit Yadav was 23 ½ years of age. They are residing separately since 17.02.2021.
  • Both the parties have already received all the articles given by them at the time of marriage. It has been further stated that none of them will claim anything with regard to the past or future maintenance. Since, the couple had stayed together only for two days, this is the sufficient ground to allow their application filed under Section 14 of the Act for waiving off the mandatory period of one year.
  • Keeping in view the prevailing COVID-19 situation, this Court does not consider it necessary to ask the parties to get their statements recorded before the Family Court, as it would cause unnecessary harassment to the parties. They will have to engage counsel afresh for the above said purpose. The statements made before this Court are sufficient to grant a decree of divorce under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, especially keeping in view that appellant-Shivani Yadav (age 22½ years) and respondent-Amit Yadav (age 23 ½ years) got married on 15.02.2021 and separated on 17.02.2021.

To view the complete judgement, click here.

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