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Analyzing: Irretrievable Breakdown Of Marriage As A Separate Ground For Divorce Under Hindu Law

The court system was established to protect against injustice, but justice must take precedence over injustice. Contradictions between constitutional and statutory provisions can occur as a result of exceptional situations in which the Supreme Court has used its extraordinary powers in ways that conflict with the law. As the highest court in our nation, the Supreme Court has oversight authority over lesser courts and tribunals to make sure that any decisions made by them are in line with the principles of justice, equity, and equality. In order to provide "complete justice" to its inhabitants, the Indian Constitution's Article 142 grants the Supreme Court this authority.

It is the execution of Supreme Court rulings and orders in the exercise of the authority deemed necessary for providing full justice. It is seen as a tool that establishes a balance between divergent interests and, in the end, guarantees that the upright always succeeds. The right should only be exercised to further the interests of justice by filling up any gaps left by weak or absent legislation. It should not be utilized carelessly. It is a step toward a justice orientation that is in opposition to the stringent legal requirements and promotes equity over the law.

It must be remembered that when using these corrective powers, they have a responsibility to uphold constitutional norms. It is the judiciary's responsibility to breathe life and blood into the legislative provisions in our nation, where judges play a very important role[2]. However, there may be some defining characteristics that are integral to the idea of full justice and the requirement that justice must be comparable to fairness[

What Is Article 142 Of The Indian Constitution

Article 142 "grant(s) a special authority to the Supreme Court, to conduct 'full justice' between the parties, i.e., when at times law or legislation may not afford a remedy, the Court may extend itself to put a quietus to a dispute in a way that would befit the facts of the case.

Meaning Of Article 142 Of The Indian Constitution

Article 142- Enforcement Of Decrees And Others Of Supreme Court And Others As To Discovery, Etc

Article 142 of the Indian Constitution contains two clauses that elaborate on the powers granted to Supreme Court to decide the cases in the case for doing necessary justice.

According to Article 142(1), "The Supreme Court may pass such decree or make such order in the exercise of its jurisdiction as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree or order so passed or order so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order preside over any such cause or matter."

According to Article 142(2), about the entirety of Indian territory, the Supreme Court and the Parliament are each fully empowered to issue any orders necessary to secure any individual's presence, the discovery or production of any documents, or the investigation or punishment of any acts of self-insubordination.

Cases Where Supreme Court Used Its Powers Under Article 142

  1. Case of the Babri Masjid (M.Siddiq V Mahent Suresh Das and others):
    The item was utilized in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case and was crucial in ensuring that the contested land was given to a trust that would be established by the Union government.
  2. Bhopal Gas Tragedy (Union Carbide v. Union Government case):
    The SC used its full authority to intervene and award compensation to the victims of the horrific Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
  3. In Golak Nath v. State of Punjab, the court held that the statute it had issued was the supreme law of the land. Denying this Court this authority because it only interprets existing laws rather than creating new ones would render useless the potent tools of justice entrusted to the highest court in the land.
  4. MC Mehta V Union of India (Taj Mahal Case), the Supreme Court noted that in addition to toxins, socioeconomic conditions also had an impact on Taj's deterioration. Air pollution put the residents of the Trapezium Zone in danger. The court mandated that 292 enterprises run with safe fuels like propane rather than coke or coal or face relocation. For gas applications, there existed the Gas Authority of India Limited. The court also granted a limited number of fundamental rights to employees in certain businesses and mandated that they be paid during the relocation process.

Present Situation
Facts of the case
According to the relevant circumstances of the case, the respondent's family was situated in Canada, and the couple's marriage was performed according to Hindu traditions in Jalandhar. Thereafter, the marriage was solemnized under Hindu rites and customs. The parties were only present for a two-month time since the respondent had to leave for Canada to be with her family. The respondent was attempting to get the appellant to immigrate to Canada at his request, but this was not done with the appellant's agreement. The respondent gained Canadian citizenship and left India.

The parties lived together for barely two and a half months before a fight broke out and the respondent again parted ways with the appellant. the Panchayat intervened and asked them to live apart from their family, in a rented residence, but that too did not last for more than a month as no papers were filed with the Canadian authorities for immigration during this time, and the appellant was blamed for sending incomplete papers. The issue

The appellant filed a suit for dissolution of marriage alleging cruelty and desertion by the respondent. This resulted in the appellant filing a petition for divorce under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. However, the District Judge dismissed the lawsuit, and the Calcutta High Court supported the Trial Court's ruling. The respondent accused the appellant of adultery and binge drinking.

Factors that have to be taken into consideration indicating the breakdown of marriage:
  1. The length of the parties' post-marriage cohabitation
  2. Their most recent cohabitation
  3. The nature of the accusations made by the parties and their family members are the first two factors to consider.
  4. The separation should last a long enough time; anything that is relevant will be something that is six years or more.
  5. Whether and how many attempts were made to resolve the conflicts through judicial involvement, mediation, etc. The court held that the aforementioned considerations must be made while taking into account the economic and social position of the parties, whether or not they have children, their age, level of education, and whether or not the other spouse and children are dependent, among other things.

The Court granted a decree of divorce and dissolved the marriage after learning about the legal dispute after ten years, acting by its authority under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution. The Court claimed that the provisions of Article 142 give the Supreme Court a special power to "complete justice" between the parties. The Supreme Court noted that maintaining this marriage would not only be futile but would also subject both parties to additional emotional distress.

It would benefit both sides if this ended as soon as possible. In Court's opinion, the marriage between the parties was emotionally dead and there was no point in persuading them to live together anymore. Hence, the present matter was found fit for the exercise of jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India and the marriage was dissolved.

Procedure To Invoke Divorce Under The Hindu Marriage Act Of 1955

"Divorce by mutual consent" is a legal option under HMA Section 13B. The petition must be submitted jointly by both spouses to the district court "on the ground that they have been living separately for a period of one year or more, that they have been unable to live together, and that they have mutually agreed that the marriage should be dissolved."

According to Section 13B(2) of the Act, if the petition is not withdrawn in the interim, the parties must file a second motion with the court "not earlier than six months after the date of the presentation of the [first] petition and not later than eighteen months after the said date." The six-month waiting period is necessary so that the parties would have enough opportunity to change their minds.

After that, "the court shall, upon finding that the averments in the petition are true, after hearing the parties and after making such inquiry as it thinks fit, pass a decree of divorce declaring the marriage to be dissolved with effect from the date of the decree." After a year of marriage, a petition for divorce by mutual consent may be filed.

A request for an exemption from the six-month waiting time stipulated by Section 13B(2) may be made in an application for an exemption submitted to the family court. The case was particularly related to section 13(2) where a waiting period of six months is granted to both parties so that they can amicably come to a solution.

The Supreme Court ruled in Amit Kumar v. Suman Beniwal in 2021 that the six-month cooling-off period after the filing of the divorce petition shall be followed in cases where there is even a remote possibility of reconciliation. It would be pointless to prolong the suffering of the parties to the marriage, nevertheless, if there is no chance of reconciliation.

The Supreme Court of India has a rare and exceptional jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution to issue an order or judgment that would bring full justice to plaintiffs who have endured several processes that have been polluted with obvious illegality or unfairness. This clause, as intended by the Constitution's founders, is of the highest importance to individuals who are alarmed about the delay in receiving their essential reliefs as a result of the law's putrid state and the weak position of the legal system.

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