On Monday, the five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court ruled that a marriage may be dissolved on the grounds of irretrievable disintegration.
According to a ruling by a Constitutional Court panel composed of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, Abhay S. Oka, Vikram Nath, and J.K. Maheshwari, the six-month waiting time required under the Hindu Marriage Act may be waived. The bench said that it may use the unique authority provided to it by Article 142 of the Constitution and that, under certain circumstances, the requirement that couples wait six months before divorcing by mutual agreement may be waived.
According to Article 142, the Supreme Court has the authority to issue decrees and orders that are required for “doing complete justice” in any case or subject that is now before it.
“We have ruled that the irretrievable collapse of the marriage qualifies as grounds for the court to dissolve the marriage. We have also outlined variables that may predict when a marriage would irretrievably fail, it continued.
The Supreme Court's ruling concerned whether the use of exceptional constitutional powers under Article 142 might be used to grant a divorce on the grounds of irretrievable collapse of the marriage.
A group of petitions asking the supreme court to use its full authority to dissolve a marriage between willing parties without first referring the matter to family courts and skipping the statutory waiting time required by Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act were filed with the court.
On June 29, 2016, a division bench sent the matter to a five-judge bench.