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SC: If one side is not willing then no divorce under Article 142, marriage not casual in India
SC: If one side is not willing then no divorce under Article 142, marriage not casual in India

New Delhi, Oct 14 (TIWN) The Supreme Court has said that it would not use its power under Article 142 to annul a marriage, when the wife is willing to give the marriage one more "try", however the husband claimed an irretrievable breakdown of marriage.

The bench said, "Marriage is not a casual event in India. We haven't reached western standards of 'marriage today and divorce tomorrow'. You both are highly educated... (and) may adopt the western philosophy but powers under Article 142 cannot be exercised to annul the marriage when one party is unwilling."
Refusing to annul a marriage on the plea of the husband when the wife wanted to make it work, an SC bench of Justices Sanjay K Kaul and Abhay S Oka sent the couple to a private mediator, saying the marriage had lasted just 40 days and the young couple must make a serious attempt to iron out their differences. The court noted that the estranged couple was highly educated - the husband was connected with the United Nations and ran an NGO, and the wife had permanent residence permission in Canada.
While the husband repeatedly pleaded with the bench to annul the marriage, the wife stated that she left everything in Canada to marry the man after a brief friendship over Facebook and meeting of families.
"Powers under Article 142 could only be used when both parties to a marriage are estranged beyond rapprochement. Both parties have to agree before the court that their marriage has broken down irretrievably. It is very difficult to say that a marriage has broken down irretrievably when one of the parties is willing to make amends to make the marriage work," the SC said.
The husband said that there has been bitterness for the last 18 months and nothing constructive has been done by either party to make the marriage work. The bench reminded him that the woman came all the way from Canada, leaving her job there, to get married to him. Justice Kaul said, "In any case, it appears to be a decision taken in a huff. Just 40 days of marriage would not be enough to understand each other and the adjustments each has to make for a successful marriage. You cannot say yes to marriage one day and then say no a little later, making it hard for the woman."
The bench appointed former Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice S J Vazifdar as mediator and gave him the liberty to take assistance of a marriage counsellor. It sought a report from the mediator in three months.

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