The Supreme court of india held that irretrievable breakdown of marriage should be treated as mutual cruelty between husband and wife and thus a ground for divorce u/s 13(1) on the basis of cruelty.

The case discusses the dissolution of marriage in cases where husband and wife have been living separately for a considerable period and there is no chance of reconciliation. The Supreme Court of India, in exercise of its power under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, dissolved the marriage on the ground of irretrievable breakdown as a ground, which otherwise does not exist under the Hindu Marriage Act in three cited cases. In Naveen Kohli, the Court made a strong recommendation to the Union of India to consider adding irretrievable breakdown as a ground for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act. The Court considered the entire matrimonial relationship, and in determining cruelty, considered the nature of the relationship, the general behavior of the parties towards each other, or long separation between the two. The Court found that the continuation of the marriage would mean continuation of cruelty inflicted by each other, and therefore dissolved the marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty.

In this legal case, the husband and wife have been living separately for a significant period, with no chance of reconciling. The court has dissolved the marriage on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown, a ground not officially recognized under the Hindu Marriage Act. The court has also recommended that the Union of India consider adding irretrievable breakdown as a ground for divorce under the act. The court has determined that in matrimonial cases, the entire relationship must be examined to determine cruelty, and not just violent acts. In this particular case, the court has concluded that the continuation of the marriage would mean the continuation of cruelty, which each party inflicts on the other. Despite the fact that irretrievable breakdown is not a legal ground for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, the court has dissolved the marriage by decree of cruelty.

SHRI RAKESH RAMAN … APPELLANT
Versus
SMT. KAVITA …RESPONDENT
decided by the Supreme Court of India on 26.04.23

By aor.sanjivnarang@gmail.com

Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.