’Love marriages leading cause of most divorces in India,’ says Supreme Court

  • Earlier this month, the top court said the grant of divorce by it on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage is not a 'matter of right'

Livemint
Updated17 May 2023
Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India(PTI)

The Supreme Court of India has asserted that lover marriages were the leading cause of most divorces in the country.

Supreme Court's two-judge bench BR Gavai and Sanjay Karol was hearing a transfer petition arising out of a matrimonial dispute. The counsel informed the court that the marriage was a love marriage. Justice Gavai remarked, "Most divorces are arising from love marriages only," Bar & Bench reported.

The Bench finally called for a mediation between the couple.

Earlier this month, the top court said it can exercise its powers under Article 142(1) of the Constitution to grant divorce on the ground of “irretrievable breakdown” of a marriage-- whether it is by mutual consent, or even if one of the parties opposes it.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice S K Kaul said it is obvious that the top court should be fully convinced and satisfied that marriage is “totally unworkable, emotionally dead and beyond salvation” and therefore, dissolution of marriage is the right solution and the only way forward.

The court said the marriage has irretrievably broken down is to be factually determined and firmly established and for this, several factors are to be considered -- such as the period of time the parties had cohabited after marriage, when the parties had last cohabited, the nature of allegations made by the parties against each other and their family members.

Other factors which have to be considered included orders passed in the legal proceedings from time to time, cumulative impact on the personal relationship, whether and how many attempts were made to settle the disputes by intervention of the court or through mediation, and when the last attempt was made, the court added.

The bench made these observations in its verdict which held the top court has the discretion to dissolve a marriage on the ground of “irretrievable breakdown” in the exercise of its plenary power under Article 142 (1) of the Constitution and can grant divorce by mutual consent while dispensing with the 6-month waiting period mandated under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

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