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Jatinder Kumar Sapra Vs. Anupama Sapra (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 382) - (Supreme Court) (06 May 2024)

Court has jurisdiction under Article 142(1) of the Constitution of India to dissolve a marriage on basis of irretrievable breakdown



The instant appeal assails the correctness of an order passed by the High Court dismissing the appeal; and accordingly upheld the correctness of an order passed by the Family Court whereunder the Family Court dismissed a petition instituted by the Appellant under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 seeking dissolution of marriage by way of a decree of divorce.

The Appellant and the Respondent before this Court were married on 14.10.1991 as per Hindu rites and rituals, at Faridabad, Haryana. Out of the wedlock two children were born on 25.08.1993 and 02.05.1996.Despite being together for approximately 14 years, bitterness crept into the relationship between the parties. Whilst on one hand, it is alleged that the Respondent ill-treated the Appellant; and constantly acted against the Appellant at the behest of her parents. On the other hand, the Respondent Wife alleged cruelty and torture at the hands of the Appellant Husband.

Despite best effort(s), the parties were adamant on parting ways - citing an irretrievable breakdown of their marriage. In Shilpa Sailesh v. Varun Sreenivasan, it was observed that a marriage may be dissolved on the ground of an irretrievable breakdown in exercise of the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 142(1) of the Constitution of India. The undisputed facts of the case reveal that the parties have separated 22 years ago i.e., having cohabited last in January 2002. The children are now majors and gainfully employed; elder son is an associate in a dental clinic; and younger son is a video/film editor. Thus, keeping in view the totality of circumstances, present Court is satisfied that the facts on record establish that the marriage between the parties has broken down and that there is no possibility that the parties would cohabit together in the future. Accordingly, the formal union between the parties is neither justified nor desirable.

Present Court deem it appropriate to exercise discretion under Article 142(1) of the Constitution of India and pass a decree of divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage. However, in view of fact that the Appellant has previously been employed by various multinational corporations in managerial post(s); and the fact that the Appellant is presently endowed with a respectable estate; present Court deem it fit and proper that the Appellant pays an amount of Rs. 50,00,000 to the Respondent Wife as permanent alimony. Appeal allowed.


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