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SC have powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, has granted divorce on the ground of

MUNISH KAKKAR V NIDHI KAKKAR, CIVIL APPEAL NO.9318 OF 2014

The appeal was brought to the Supreme Court of India before the bench consisting of Honourable Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Honourable K.M. Joseph.

The appellant filed a petition for divorce under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 on the ground of cruelty, on 16.5.2003.

APPELLANTS CONTENTION

It was the appellant’s case that he had reasonable apprehension about the safety of his life and limb and that the respondent was really not interested in living with the appellant in India, away from Canada. The loneliness and lack of co-habitation are stated to have caused physical and mental torture. The appellant also sought to make out a case that the respondent was suffering from depression and was on medication. Despite the appellant’s stable job in India, the respondent kept on pressuring him to shift to Canada, and despite his reluctance, he had signed the immigration papers in order to save his marriage. However, the papers were never submitted. In fact, he came to know that the respondent herself had reached Canada on improper travel documents and, thus, could not apply for the appellant’s immigration. It is the further submission of the appellant that all stridhan was taken away by the respondent in April 2001. The appellant alleged that the respondent was extremely suspicious and maligned his character in front of his colleagues on the basis of alleged liaisons with his colleagues.

RESPONDENTS CONTENTION

The respondent naturally had her own version and claimed to have traveled to Canada to meet his insistence of immigrating to Canada, though she admitted that she had not taken any documents of the appellant with her to Canada. She, in fact, blamed the appellant for abandoning her and made various other allegations including dowry, physical assault, and extra-marital affairs. In respect of her continued stay in Canada, she claimed to have had an “insect bite”. In her testimony, she claimed that an unconsented abortion took place when she was taken to a doctor, though it was an admitted position that she never made a complaint in respect thereof. The version of the appellant was different, i.e., that she was taken for general medical treatment, and was in fact never pregnant.

OBSERVATIONS OF THE COURT

The provisions of Article 142 of the Constitution provided a unique power to the Supreme Court, to do “complete justice” between the parties, i.e., where at times law or statute may not provide a remedy, the Court can extend itself to put a quietus to a dispute in a manner which would befit the facts of the case. It was with this objective that the court finds it appropriate to take recourse to this provision in the present case. The court was of the view that an end to this marriage would permit the parties to go their own way in life after having spent two decades battling each other, and there can always be hope, even at this age, for a better life, if not together, separately.

JUDGMENT DELIVERED

Thereby, this Honourable Court after inferring the facts and circumstances of the case gave its judgment as under,

“The court, thus, exercising their jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, granted a decree of divorce and dissolved the marriage inter se the parties forthwith. The respondent was a qualified lawyer; she claimed to have not gone back to her family in Canada but stayed in India only to battle this litigation. The respondent was being paid Rs.7,500 per month by the appellant. With a law degree, she would be able to meet her needs better, though she claimed that her sole concentration has been on the inter se dispute. Be that as it may, the court was of the view that the maintenance of Rs.7,500 per month should be continued to be paid by the appellant to the respondent, and it was open for the parties to move appropriate proceedings for either enhancement of this maintenance or reduction and cessation thereof. This aspect can also be reconciled between the parties once a decree of divorce was granted. The appeal was allowed leaving the parties to bear their own costs.”

View/Download Judgment: Munish Kakkar v. Nidhi Kakkar

– Tanvi Srivatsan

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