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‘Lived together only for 40 days’: SC declines to dissolve marriage of couple

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has declined to use its plenary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to quash a marriage — where the parties had met on Facebook in December 2019 and got married in December 2020 as per Christian rites and customs at a Mangaluru church, noting that parties have lived together only for 40 days.

A bench of Justices Rajesh Bindal and Aravind Kumar said: “We do not find this to be a fit case for exercise of power under Article 142 of the Constitution of India as good sense may prevail on the parties. They had lived together only for 40 days. It takes time to settle down in marriage.”

The plea was filed by Mangaluru doctor and CEO of a global health organisation to use the court’s extraordinary power under the Constitution to dissolve his marriage with a permanent resident of Canada. He contended that there is an irretrievable breakdown of marriage and this court should exercise its jurisdiction under Article 142 to dissolve the marriage.

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The apex court also dismissed a plea by the wife to transfer the divorce proceedings filed by her husband from Mangaluru to a court in Mumbai.

“Though, at present, considering the financial condition of the parties on the basis of material which has come on record, we do not find that any ground is made out for issuing direction to the respondent (husband) to pay the expenses to the petitioner for travelling to Mangaluru. However, still in case she feels like seeking reimbursement of expenses, she shall be at liberty to file an application before the court concerned, which may be examined on its own merits,” it said.

The bench noted that both the parties are well-educated and engaged in their own jobs and professions. She can travel to Mangaluru to attend the hearing of the case and can also seek exemption from appearance whenever required, it said.

“In our view no case is made out for transfer of the petition from Mangaluru, Karnataka to Mumbai, Maharashtra,” the bench said. The court pointed out the wife is a permanent resident of Canada and she must be travelling abroad regularly.

The top court noted that a number of transfer petitions are filed in matrimonial cases, primarily by the wives for transfer of matrimonial proceedings, initiated by the husband.

“This court normally has been accepting the prayer made while showing leniency towards ladies. In Anindita Das vs Srijit Das (2006), this court observed that may be this leniency was being misused by women. Hence, each and every case has to be considered on its own merits,” the bench said.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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