Mutual Divorce do not need cooling period of 6 months

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 — S. 13-B(2) — Divorce by mutual consent — Cooling-off period of six months:

For determining whether provision is mandatory or directory, language alone is not decisive and court must have regard to context, subject matter and object of provision. Court can waive off statutory period under S. 13-B(2) in its discretion after considering following factors:

(i) statutory period of six months specified in S. 13-B(2) in addition to statutory period of one year separation under S. 13-B(1) is already over before first motion itself;

(ii) no likelihood of reconciliation between parties;


(iii) parties have genuinely settled all their differences including alimony, custody of child or any other pending issue; and

(iv) whether waiting period would only prolong agony.

Thus, cooling-off period being directory, it is open to court to exercise its discretion in facts and circumstances of each case where there is no possibility of parties resuming cohabitation and there are chances of alternative rehabilitation.

Moreover, in conducting such proceedings the court can also use the medium of videoconferencing and also permit genuine representation of the parties through close relations such as parents or siblings where the parties are unable to appear in person for any just and valid reason as may satisfy the court, to advance the interest of justice. [Amardeep Singh v. Harveen Kaur,(2017) 8 SCC 746]

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