"Supreme Court confirms power to issue official decree of divorce in cases of irretrievable breakdown of marriage"
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The Supreme Court is empowered to exercise its absolute powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to issue official orders of divorce to the consenting parties in cases of irretrievable breakdown of marriage.
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In such cases the period of six months prescribed under the Hindu Marriage Act may be waived.
The judgement in a batch of petitions related to the exercise of absolute powers of the apex court to dissolve marriages between consenting parties without reference to family courts to wait for the mandatory period prescribed under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act I went.
Article 142 empowers the apex court to pass such orders as may be necessary for "doing complete justice" in any matter pending before it.
The matter was referred to a five-judge bench nearly five years ago on June 29, 2016, by a division bench of Justices Shiv Kirti Singh and R Bhanumathi (both retired) in a transfer petition.
The Constitution Bench had reserved the decision on 29 September 2022 after hearing the arguments.
Hindu Marriage Act:
It is a law that regulates marriages of Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs.
It was enacted in 1955 and has been amended several times.
This act defines the conditions for a Hindu marriage to be considered legally valid.
These include monogamy, minimum age of marriage, stability of mind, absence of prohibited degrees of relationship, and ability to consummate the marriage.
The Act provides for the registration of Hindu marriages. Registration of marriage is not mandatory but it is advisable as it serves as proof of marriage and facilitates settlement of disputes.
The Act also recognizes the validity of prenuptial agreements.
The Act provides for punishment for bigamy, dowry and cruelty to married women.
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