Tuesday, October 10, 2017

SC Invokes ‘Inherent Powers’ To Dissolve Marriage Of District Judge Couple Who Have Been Living Separately For 17 Yrs.

Invoking its inherent powers to do ‘complete justice’, the Supreme Court has granted divorce to a district judge in West Bengal, whose wife, also a district judge, has been living separately for the past 17 years.

The husband and wife, in the instant case, are district judges in the state of West Bengal. The husband’s application for divorce was dismissed on the ground that he failed to prove cruelty on the part of his wife. The high court also dismissed the appeal by holding that irretrievable breakdown of marriage cannot be a ground for divorce.
The wife did not appear before the trial court after filing of written statement. She also did not appear before the proceedings in the high court as well as the Supreme Court.Noting the said conduct on her part, the bench said it indicated that she was not interested in living with the husband. Refusal to participate in proceeding for divorce and forcing the appellant to stay in a dead marriage would itself constitute mental cruelty, the bench said by referring to Samar Ghosh vs Jaya Ghosh case.
“There is no likelihood of the Appellant and the Respondent living together and for all practical purposes there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage,” the bench observed. The court also reiterated that Article 142 of the Constitution for dissolution of a marriage can be invoked where the court finds that the marriage is totally unworkable, emotionally dead, beyond salvage and has broken down irretrievably, even if the facts of the case do not provide a ground in law on which the divorce could be granted.

Ref.CIVIL APPEAL No. 7186 of 2016 -OCTOBER 09, 2017. SC

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