Courts can’t deny divorce to couple for want of reason, says HC
Couples seeking divorce, but unwilling to reveal the reason behind their separation might find solace in this observation by the Madras High Court.
Hearing an appeal against a Tirunelveli family court’s decision to deny divorce to a couple which had been living separately for more than a year, the Madras High Court observed that courts should not insist on knowing the reason before allowing the judicial separation.
According to the court, if a couple has mutually agreed to separate and want to get divorced, then courts have no business to deny them judicial separation for the want of reason.
According to a report in The Times of India, a division bench of Justice KK Sasidharan and Justice N Gokulraj said that the courts should not be acting as fact-finding authorities.
"In case the marriage is a failure and the parties wanted to put an end to the marital bind, the court should respect the sentiments and grant divorce. It is not the intention of the legislature to deny divorce in spite of the parties taking a conscious decision to part ways."
"Once it is convinced that it would not be possible for the parties to live together and that they have opted to dissolve the marriage peacefully, the endeavour of the court must be to grant a decree of divorce rather than compelling them to live separately even thereafter," the HC bench said.
The family court in Tirunelveli had dismissed the couple's joint divorce plea on the ground that they had failed to tell the reasons for their separation.
The HC did not agree with what the family court’s decision and set it aside while granting decree of divorce to the couple.
"In case the parties have been living separately for one year before the initiation of the joint petition for divorce and that there is no scope for reunion, normally, the court has no other option than to grant the degree of divorce," the judges told.
"It is not for the court to probe into such reasons and decide as to whether parties were justified in living separately," they further added.