Madhya Pradesh High Court: S.A. Dharmadhikari, J., decided in the matter of the petition which was filed challenging the order passed by Additional Principal Judge to the Court of Principal Judge, Family Court, whereby the application filed by the petitioner and respondent under section 13-B of HMA for waiving off cooling period in the light of judgment passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Amardeep Singh v. Harveen Kaur, AIR 2017 SC 4417, had been rejected.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner and the respondent got married according to Hindu, rites and customs and as their marriage was not successful, therefore, they decided to obtain a decree of divorce, hence, they had jointly filed an application u/S. 13B of HMA for grant of divorce by mutual consent. It was stated that since both of them have decided to seek divorce and to live separately, therefore, pendency of the divorce petition for more than six months would seriously affect the future of both therefore, in the light of judgment delivered by the Apex Court in the case of Amardeep Singh, the cooling off period of six months may be waived off adding that there is no possibility of compromise between the parties in future.

Court reiterated the extract from the Amardeep Singh judgment,

“Applying the above to the present petition, we are of the view that where the Court dealing with a matter is satisfied that a case is made out to waive the statutory period under Section 13 B (2), it can do so after considering the following:

i) The statutory period of six months specified in Section 13 B(2), in addition to the statutory period of one year under Section 13B(1) of separation of parties is already over before the first motion itself;

ii) All efforts for mediation/conciliation including efforts in terms of Order XXXIIA Rule 3 CPC/Section 23(2) of the Act/Section 9 of the Family Courts Act to reunite the parties have failed and there is no likelihood of success in that direction by any further efforts;

iii) The parties have genuinely settled their differences including alimony, custody of child or any other pending issues between the parties.

iv) The waiting period will only prolong their agony.”

The Court finally decided to waive off the cooling period of six months’ as provided under Section 13-B of the HMA and directed it to be placed before the family court for consideration.

[Pankaj Rajput v. Kirti Rajput, 2021 SCC OnLine MP 1858, decided on 07-10-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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