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Ankush Aggarwal vs Priya Garg on 16 August, 2018

FAO-M-182-2018
1

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
AT CHANDIGARH

FAO-M-182-2018
Date of Decision : 16.08.2018

Ankush Aggarwal
…Appellant No. 1

Versus

Priya Garg
…Appellant No. 2

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE M.M.S. BEDI
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE ANUPINDER SINGH GREWAL

Present: Ms. Supriya Garg, Advocate and
Mr. Rajan Bansal, Advocates for the appellants.

***

M.M.S. Bedi, J.(Oral)

Aggrieved by dismissal of application filed under

Section 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act (for short ‘the Act’) to grant

leave for divorce by mutual consent in a joint petition under Section

13-B of the Act seeking divorce by mutual consent before the expiry

of one year of the marriage, the present appeal has been preferred.

The divorce petition under Section 13-B of the Act was

filed and registered on 21.05.2018 along with an application under

Section 14 of the Act. It is averred in the divorce petition filed under

Section 13-B of the Act that the marriage had taken place on

10.03.2018. The lower Court has refused to grant the permission

under Section 14 of the Act observing as follows :-

“5. After going through the provisions of Section 14 of
the Hindu Marriage Act, this Court finds that normal
rule is that no petition is to be entertained unless one

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year since the date of marriage has elapsed. The
proviso to the said Section provides that in case of
exceptional hardship to the petitioner or exceptional
depravity on the part of respondent, the Court can allow
the petition to be presented even before one year. The
further proviso has been made where the leave has been
obtained by misrepresentation or concealment of facts.
The instant application under Section 14(1) of the Hindu
Marriage Act has been filed on the ground of
irreconcilable differences in temperaments. The petition
has been filed only after about two months of the
marriage. They have claimed that everything has been
settled and all the things have been exchanged between
the parties. They claimed that the period be condoned
as it would lead to irreversible mental and psychological
damage. However, no specific incident or circumstances
are stated on account of which the living together has
been impossible. It is not a case of exceptional
circumstance. Temperamental differences are the bone
of contention in every failed marriage. The same cannot
be considered to be exceptional circumstances because
the parties do not want to live together on account of
incompatibility. The only cursory reason has been given
for granting exemption for filing the petition before the
expiry of one year of the date of marriage. In the
pleadings, there is no exceptional hardship to the
parties. There is also no deprivation to parties. Merely
hypothetical consequences are narrated in case the
application is not allowed. They are without any merit.

No pressing circumstance has been pleaded. There is
certainly reasonable probability of reconciliation
between the parties and for that statutory period of one
year after the date of marriage has been granted by the
Constitution for the filing of divorce petition. The
authorities relied by the learned counsel for the

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applicants are clearly distinguishable. In the authority
cited as AIR 2015 Punjab and Haryana 160, one of the
party has gone abroad; in the authority cited as 2008(2)
MLJ 526 the parties never resided together; and in
authority cited as MAT App. 58/2011 there was on the
ground of extreme cruelty. The circumstances narrated
in the present petition are totally different and are not
shown to be very serious in any manner.

6. Moreover, this Court is of the view that it is a
normal case of the parties marrying and then differences
arising. If it is held that due to young age, it is a case of
undue hardship and there is no coercion or
misrepresentation and, therefore, permission should be
granted, then the exception will become the rule. The
mere fact that parties are sufficiently grown, educated
and aware of their responsibilities, is no ground to grant
the relief. Similarly irreconcilable differences in
temperaments, is also of no ground to grant the relief.
After going through the facts and circumstances of the
case, I find that it is not a case of undue hardship to any
of the applicants-petitioners, nor it is a case of
exceptional depravity for any of the party. Therefore,
the permission is declined and accordingly, the petition
stands dismissed being premature. It shall also be open
to the parties to move this Court after the expiry of one
year of the marriage.”

Both the parties are present in Court today along with

their counsel. They have affirmed that it is not feasible for them to

stay together. They have reiterated the ground as pleaded in the

application under Section 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act, which reads

as follows :-

“2. That the marriage between the parties took place
on 10.03.2018 and the parties lived together at Bathinda

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for few days only after marriage. However, the
marriage failed and could not be consummated due to
irreconcilable differences in temperaments of the parties
giving rise to extreme bitterness and rancor between the
parties and their relatives.

3. That the parties are now living separately from
one another. There are no chances of reconciliation/
reunion.

4. That on the intervention of city respectable and
family friends, parties have voluntarily decided to get the
marriage dissolved by decree of divorce by mutual
consent.

5. That both the sides have settled the terms of
dissolution of marriage. They have taken back their
respective belongings and articles of jewellery from each
other. Side of petitioner No. 2 has also settled all
accounts of marriage with the parents of petitioner No. 1
and received back their entire expenses. Now nothing is
due against one and another on account of any item.

6. That under the exceptional circumstances
petitioner No. 2 has forgone the claim for award of
maintenance (present and future) or alimony of any kind
against petitioner No. 1 rather is insistent on dissolution
of marriage straight away without any unnecessary
delay.

7. That both the petitioners are well educated.
Petitioner No. 1 has done MBA from Narsi Moonjie
Institute in Business stream from Mumbai whereas
petitioner No. 2 has done her MSC and M. Phil in
Statistics from Punjab University, Chandigarh. Both the
petitioners are sufficiently grown, educated and aware
of their responsibilities. They are mature enough to
comprehend all pros and cons of the decision to take
divorce.

8. That the decision containing divorce by mutual

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consent is not caused by any coercion intimidation or
undue influence from any side rather is voluntary
acceptance of the ground reality by both the petitioners
with intent to avoid growth of rancor bitterness and
hostility between their respective families and to avoid
any untoward happening or occurrence.”

We have considered the facts and circumstances of this

case and gone through the averments in the application for leave to

file the petition for divorce by mutual consent prior to the expiry of

one year after the marriage.

We find that both the parties are highly educated as one

of the parties is MBA whereas the other party has done MSC and M.

Phil. They claim to be sufficiently grown up, educated and aware of

their responsibilities and mature enough to comprehend all pros and

cons of the decision to take divorce. They have averred that they

stayed together at Bathinda for few days after marriage. As per their

opinion the marriage failed and could not be consummated due to

irreconcilable differences in temperaments of the parties giving rise to

extreme bitterness and rancor between the parties and their relatives.

Both of them have reiterated the same feelings by appearing in the

Court.

We, on the basis of above said circumstances, find that it

is a case of exceptional hardship to both of them as they appear not to

be willing enough to re-settle. It does not appear to be a case where a

petition has been filed under any misrepresentation or by coercion.

We have also made an attempt to find out if there is any reasonable

probability of reconciliation but both appear adamant not to resume

cohabitation. No hard and fast rule can be laid down regarding the
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parameters to determine the exceptional hardship and the exceptional

circumstances, which would constitute factors for permitting

parties/party to file petition for divorce prior to the expiry of one year

after the marriage and it has to be seen in the circumstances of each

case. No straight jacket formula can be laid down for defining the

extra ordinary exceptional circumstances to grant such leave.

This appeal, in view of above discussion, deserves to be

allowed. Ordered accordingly. Order dated 21.05.2018 based on the

subject to satisfaction of the learned District Judge, Bathinda, is

hereby set-aside. The application under Section 14 of the Act filed by

the parties along with joint petition under Section 13-B of the Act is

hereby allowed and the petition under Section 13-B of the Act is

restored. The parties will be permitted to proceed ahead with the

petition under Section 13-B of the Act in accordance with law. They

will appear before the District Judge, Bathinda for further

proceedings on 01.09.2018. The said Court shall register the petition

under Section 13-B of the Act at its original number and take up the

same in accordance with law.

(M.M.S. BEDI)
JUDGE

August 16, 2018 (ANUPINDER SINGH GREWAL)
kanchan JUDGE

Whether speaking/reasoned? Yes
Whether reportable? Yes

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