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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Never too late to mend ways: HC sets aside lower court order dissolving a marriage

As per the order, the appellants had solemnized marriage in December 2006 as per Sikh Religious Rites at Kapurthala, and out of this wedlock two children were born in 2010 and in 2013, respectively.

Written by Jagpreet Singh Sandhu | Chandigarh |
August 19, 2021 9:18:47 am
At HC, the division bench of Justices Ritu Bahri and Archana Puri, held that the appeal against the decree of divorce under Section 13-B of the Act is maintainable. (File)

Stating that “it is never too late to mend ways,” the Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside the order of a lower court whereby the marriage of a couple having two children was dissolved.

As per the order, the appellants had solemnized marriage in December 2006 as per Sikh Religious Rites at Kapurthala, and out of this wedlock two children were born in 2010 and in 2013, respectively. On account of temperamental differences, they started living separately since 2014 and both the children were living with the mother.

They filed a petition, under Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act for dissolution of marriage by way of mutual consent, before the court of Additional District Judge, Jalandhar, in November 2015 and the same was allowed vide judgement and decree dated May 31, 2016 and since then the man and the woman were living separately.

In 2018, the couple placed on record a compromise, as per which, with the intervention of relatives, and common friends, they have started living together as husband and wife along with their minor children.
The couple filed an application before the Jalandhar Family Court for setting aside judgment on the basis of compromise dated March 2018. The application was then dismissed on the ground that it is the High Court that could set aside the consent decree passed under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act.

At HC, the division bench of Justices Ritu Bahri and Archana Puri, held that the appeal against the decree of divorce under Section 13-B of the Act is maintainable. The parties are staying together after the decree of divorce since 2018. Further, the compromise effected between the parties has also been placed on record coupled with the statements made by them before the Family Court before passing impugned order dated January 28, 2021.

The bench, allowing the plea of the couple (appellants), said, “Keeping in view the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and since the appellants are living together along with the children, this court is of the view that it is never too late to mend ways and, therefore, the instant appeal is allowed and judgment and decree dated May 31, 2016 passed by the Additional District Judge, Jalandhar by which marriage of the parties was dissolved, is set aside.”

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