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LL SC sanctions divorce to couple without six months ‘cooling-off’ period ￼ Legal Correspondent NEW DELHI , OCTOBER 16, 2018 18:12 IST UPDATED: OCTOBER 16, 2018 18:25 IST The judges were convinced that the couple have taken a conscious decision to part as friends The Supreme Court has allowed a couple to go their separate ways without waiting for the mandatory “cooling-off” period of six months on learning that they have decided to part as friends. A Bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and S.K. Kaul said the court found the husband and wife both “well-educated”. The judges had a long interaction with the couple and was “convinced that they have taken a conscious decision to part as friends” after entering into an amicable settlement. In terms of the settlement, the husband has paid the woman ₹. 12.5 lakh. The apex court dissolved the marriage by a decree of divorce by mutual consent. It also quashed criminal proceedings before a Gujarat court. Though the couple had come to the Supreme Court on a transfer of their legal dispute from a family court in Delhi to that in Gujarat, the apex court intervened to end the acrimony itself and smoothened the way for the couple to gain their divorce without bitterness. “Having regard to the background of the litigations between the parties, we are convinced that there is no point in requiring the parties to wait for another six months. Accordingly, the period between first motion and the second motion is waived,” the Bench recorded in a September 25 order. This is one of the first cases in which the Supreme Court has followed its own ruling in September 2017 that Hindu couples who have mutually agreed to separate need not wait anymore for the mandatory “cooling-off ” period of six months before divorce. The judgement was pronounced by a Bench of Justices (now retired) A.K. Goel and U.U. Lalit last year. Previously, under the Hindu Marriage Act, once a couple moves a court of law for divorce, they have to wait for a minimum period of six months before the court actually passes a decree of divorce. Divorce by mutual consent was introduced as an amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act in 1976. The waiting period under Section 13B was mandated to prevent couples from taking any hasty decision to end their marriage. Marriage is a sacrament in the Hindu religion. Divorce was granted only after the cooling-off period and once the court found there was no further chance for reconciliation. “The waiting period will only prolong their agony,” Justice Goel had written in the 2017 judgement. The apex court had held that waiting period should be done away with in cases where there is no way to save the marriage and all efforts at mediation and conciliation have run its course; where parties have genuinely settled their differences including alimony, custody of child, etc, between themselves; and already a year and a half has passed since their first motion for separation. The application for waiver of waiting period can be filed in court within a week of their first motion for separation. The proceedings can be done through video-conferencing, the court had observed.
by sekar · Published October 16, 2018
Woman facing mental physical harassment at workplace approaches HC PTINovember 08, 2018 23:54 IST Chennai, Nov 8 (PTI) A woman employee of the Tamil Nadu forest department has approached the Madras High Court, alleging that her office in-charge has been abusing her mentally and physically. In her plea, she has demanded installation of CCTV cameras at workplace to ensure protection. The woman has been working in the Madukarai Range (Coimbatore district). When the plea was taken up Thursday, Justice S Vimala issued a notice to the principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF), returnable by two weeks. The petitioner said that she has been working as a computer operator since March 2017 and alleged that a forester, also her office in-charge, began harassing her verbally and physically. The woman said since she was the only woman employee, she could not share the details of the harassment with anyone. Later, the woman said she lodged a complaint with the forest ranger but he failed to act and she continued facing the ordeal. Then she raised the matter with the district forest officer who in turn forwarded the complaint to the internal complaints committee headed by a woman officer. But the petitioner alleged that some men stalled the inquiry by transferring the woman officer, forcing her to approach the court. PTI COR NVG BN SNE
by sekar · Published November 9, 2018