In a rare instance, a family court in Pune has granted divorce by mutual consent to a couple within 14 days of filing the petition by waiving the mandatory six-month cooling-off period.

In her ruling, the judge M R Kale said, “Considering the facts and circumstances and the evidence on record, it is evident that due to difference of opinion and incompatibility of their temperament, they cannot live together and there cannot be a happy married life between the two petitioners. Hence, they are entitled to a decree of divorce by mutual consent.”

“The marriage counsellor has filed a report which states there was no possibility of a reconciliation between the two,” the order on September 29 added.

The petition was filed by the couple through lawyers Mayur Salunke and Ajinkya Salunke last month. The couple had married on December 12, 2017 under the Special Marriage Act. “Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act lays down the norms regarding the six-month cooling-off period. The court waived the cooling-off period as the couple had already been living separately for more than a year,” said advocate Ajinka.

The couple studied at the same college in Pune and are software engineers. The husband works in Dubai while the woman works in Pune. “Soon after their marriage, they started having differences of opinion and constantly quarrelled even over petty things. They started living separately on April 26, 2019,” the advocate said.

In its order, the court said there was no dispute between the couple regarding claim of maintenance, property or dowry. “The woman had waived off her right to maintenance and both the couple will not have any claim on each other’s property,” the order said.

Advocate Ajinkya said the parties had no relationship of husband and wife between them. “The couple had settled matters relating to alimony, maintenance and stridhan as well as other issues relating to movable and immovable property. These conditions were enumerated in Amardeep versus Harveen Kaur case,” he said. As they had no children, there was no question of fighting for custody either, he added.

“The apex court had in its ruling clearly stated a marriage can be annulled if the couple had been living separately for more than a year. The norm relating to the cooling-off period had been brought in to explore whether the differences between the quarrelling couple can be resolved. And, therefore, the couple are sent for counselling. The SC had said that if there was no chance of reconciliation, the cooling-off period can be waived,” the advocate highlighted.

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