Supreme Court yesterday said that the six months waiting period prescribed under S.13 B(2) of Hindu Marriage Act for divorce by mutual consent is not mandatory, and can be waived under certain circumstances. The bench comprises of Justice A.K. Goel and Justice U.U. Lalit held that the period mentioned in S.13B (2) was not mandatory but directory and that it’ll be open to the court to exercise its discretion in the facts and circumstances of each case. The bench held that when the court is satisfied that the case is made out where the statutory period under S.13 B(2) can be waived. The bench said that the court can do so after considering the following:
- The statutory period of six months specified in S. 13 B(2), in addition to the stator period of one year under section 13B(1) of separation of parties is already over before the first motion itself;
- All efforts for mediation/conciliation on including efforts in terms of order XXXIIA Rule 3 CPC/ section 23(2) of the act/ section 9 of the Family Courts Act to reunite the parties have failed and there is no likelihood of success in that direction by any further efforts
- The parties have genuinely settled their differences including alimony, custody of child or any other pending issues between the parties
- The waiting period will only prolong their agony.