Transfer Petition (Civil) No. 183/2019
Date of Judgement:
13 September 2021
Justice Abhay S. Oka
Petitioners – Neha @ Pooja Alizad
Respondent – Vaibhav Kumar @ Chetan Sancheti
A single judge bench cannot pass orders for dissolution for marriage by invoking its power under Article 142 of the Constitution. Proviso to Rule 1 of Order VI of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 states that the jurisdiction of a judge sitting singly is confined to granting relief under Section 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
- Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 – Divorce by Mutual Consent.
- Article 142 of the Constitution - The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it.
- Section 406 of Code of Criminal Procedure - Power of Supreme Court to transfer cases and appeals.
- Rule 1 Order VI of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 - Subject to the other provisions of these rules, every cause, appeal or matter shall be heard by a Bench consisting of not less than two judges nominated by the Chief Justice.
- The Petitioner and Respondent approached a mediator for dissolution of marriage and after complying with the terms and conditions, they prayed for mutual divorce under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act to be read with Article 142 of the Constitution.
- The Court referred to the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, particularly Order VI, and noted that a single bench cannot pass order for dissolution of marriage by invoking Article 142 of the Constitution in a transfer petition unless the Chief Justice exercises his power under Rule 1(iv) Order VI.
- The Judge directed the Registry to place this case before the Chief Justice.
- Whether a Single Judge Bench of the Supreme Court hearing transfer petition can pass orders in nature of mutual consent divorce by invoking Article 142?
- By a notification dated 11 May 2020, the Supreme Court Rules were amended which specified the matters which can be heard by a Single Judge wherein proviso to Rule 1 Order VI provided that the jurisdiction of a Single Judge is confined to grant relief under Section 25 of the Code of Civil Procedure in a transfer petition and only when the Chief Justice exercises his powers and Rule 1 Clause 4 and notifies about the same.
A Single Judge cannot order for dissolution of marriage by mutual consent by invoking Article 142 of the Constitution in a transfer case. While a Single Judge of the Court can exercise jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India to dissolve a marriage, it can only be done subject to Rule 1 of Order VI of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013.
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