Six Months Cooling-off period under Section 13B(2) of Hindu Marriage Act not mandatory

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The Supreme Court today held that minimum period of six months stipulated under Section 13B(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (Act) for a motion for passing decree of divorce on the basis of mutual consent is not mandatory and can be waived by courts depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.

Section 13B(2) in The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

(2) On the motion of both the parties made not earlier than six months after the date of the presentation of the petition referred to in sub-section (1) and not later than eighteen months after the said date, if the petition is not withdrawn in the meantime, the court shall, on being satisfied, after hearing the parties and after making such inquiry as it thinks fit, that a marriage has been solemnised and that the averments in the petition are true, pass a decree of divorce declaring the marriage to be dissolved with effect from the date of the decree.]

The judgment was delivered by a Bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit in an appeal against a judgment of the Delhi High Court