S.14 HMA | Telangana HC Waives 1-Yr Divorce Waiting Period Noting 40 Y/O Wife's Wish To Urgently Remarry To Avoid Future Pregnancy Risks

Sparsh Upadhyay

6 April 2024 11:15 AM GMT

  • S.14 HMA | Telangana HC Waives 1-Yr Divorce Waiting Period Noting 40 Y/O Wifes Wish To Urgently Remarry To Avoid Future Pregnancy Risks

    Invoking Section 14 (1) of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, which bars married couples from seeking divorce before 1-year of marriage except in cases of 'exceptional hardship', the Telangana High Court recently allowed a couple, who lived together for only two months days, to file for divorce by mutual consent under Section 13-B. A bench of Justice P. Sam Koshy passed the...

    Invoking Section 14 (1) of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, which bars married couples from seeking divorce before 1-year of marriage except in cases of 'exceptional hardship', the Telangana High Court recently allowed a couple, who lived together for only two months days, to file for divorce by mutual consent under Section 13-B.

    A bench of Justice P. Sam Koshy passed the order considering the 40-year-old wife's wish to remarry at the earliest to avoid the potential health risks associated with pregnancy at her age.

    The case in brief

    The couple, married in June 2023, faced marital discord due to health issues and impotency. Despite attempts to reconcile, both parties were unwilling to continue their marriage and hence, they jointly filed a petition under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act seeking divorce by mutual consent.

    As the petition was submitted within one year of marriage, they filed another application under Section 14(1) of the Act to waive the mandatory one-year waiting period. However, the said plea was rejected by the family court in December 2023, prompting them to move to the High Court with the instant revision plea.

    For context, as per Section 14(1) of HMA, Courts are not competent to entertain any petition for dissolution of a marriage unless at the date of the presentation of the petition, one year has elapsed since the date of the marriage, provided there is "exceptional hardship to the petitioner or of exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent."

    In the HC, the petitioners claimed that the Court below erred in dismissing their application and failed to understand the hardship faced by the petitioners which is the personal health issues and impotency.

    They also argued that they have already completed 10 months of waiting period and just about 02 months are left to be completed, which they sought to be waived considering the exceptional circumstances being faced by them.

    Importantly, the petitioner No.2 (40-year-old wife) submitted before the Court that she is on the brink of finalizing a marriage proposal. However, the potential marriage cannot proceed until her current divorce is finalized.

    She contended that she was eager to remarry due to concerns about biological complications associated with pregnancy at her age, including increased risks of miscarriage and delivery complications.

    It was her specific stand before the Court that the delay in the divorce process was causing her a great deal of anxiety.

    High Court's observations

    Against the backdrop of these submissions, the Court noted that both parties are unequivocally in agreement about their decision to divorce, and there seems to be no possibility of reconciliation.

    The Court also emphasized that the breakdown of the couple's marriage is undeniable, characterized by irreconcilable differences with no possibility of reconciliation.

    β€œThe specific health complications faced by the petitioners, coupled with the urgency expressed by petitioner No.2, who has the desire to remarry, and also considering her age at this juncture provides a compelling testament to the exceptional hardship they are currently enduring. These elements of hardship are not merely ordinary discomforts of life, but situations of extraordinary burden that will gravely affect the petitioners and their future life,” the Court added.

    Consequently, considering the substantial evidence of exceptional hardship as well the necessity to exercise its discretion judiciously, as stipulated under Section 14 of the HM Act to waive the mandatory waiting period of one year in cases of exceptional hardship, the Court granted them a waiver of the mandatory waiting period of one year.

    With this, the Court allowed them to file a petition for divorce by mutual consent under Section 13-B of the HM Act and hence, allowed their petition.

    Case title - Dandamudi Phani Krishna vs. Boyapati Lakshmi Aparna

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (TS) 61

    Click Here To Read/Download Order

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