In Conversation with Odisha High Court Adv.Ruchi Rajgarhia on Effectiveness of Indian Divorce Laws.

Interview by- Shuvasmita Nanda


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1. In layman's purview, what is the procedure of filing a divorce? Is it tedious, hidebound and costly?

Ans.- Divorce procedure can be classified into two types.:-

i) Contested Divorce ii) Mutual Divorce.

So far as the contested divorce is concerned, it is a lengthy procedure. The party seeking divorce files an application before the Family Court and after admission notice is issued to opp. party. After receipt of the notice, if the opp. party appears and files his/ her written statement then matter is sent for conciliation. After conciliation, the matter is referred to the Court. Then evidence of both the parties are filed and cross-examination is conducted. After that counsel of both parties present and argue their case and after considering all aspects, the order is pronounced by the Court.

Comparatively, mutual divorce is time-bound and easy. In such matters, both parties file a joint application for divorce and the matter is sent for conciliation as a last attempt to reconcile the relationship. A cooling-off period of six months is provided to both parties. When conciliation fails, the matter is referred to the Court. Then both parties file their pieces of evidence and upon their willingness for divorce by mutual consent, the Court passes the order for divorce.

2.  Are the family court's prospect of the second opportunity for reconciliation of fragmented marriage always justified?

Ans.- In my opinion, it is futile to provide the second opportunity for reconciliation of a fragmented marriage. Marriage is a holy bonding and once it gets spoiled then there is hardly any chance left for reconciliation.

3.  What is the proactive effect of the waiving of six months waiting period once compulsory for mutual consent divorces?

Ans.- In India where 3.14 crore court cases are pending in District and subordinate Courts, waiving of six months period in divorce cases can fasten the procedure and unnecessary delay can be avoided.

4. How much the family courts working is affected by the inbuilt counselling and mediation mechanism?

Ans.- The inbuilt counselling and mediation mechanism in the Family Court works for the betterment of both parties and helps them to come on a conclusion.

5. What is the irretrievable breakdown of marriage? Could it be considered as a ground for divorce? Please explain

Ans.- A marital relationship is built on the pillars of love, trust and faith. When people of two different mindsets come together, some conflicts and disagreement are obvious. But when parties find unable to cope with each other and choose ways apart then that marriage can’t be saved in any manner.

Irretrievable breakdown of a marriage can only be considered as a ground for divorce by mutual consent where both parties decide to end their marriage by mutual consent and understanding.

6. In consideration of today's scenario how much Indian divorce laws are efficient and effective? What are your suggestions for an effective way forward?

Ans.-In the present scenario where everything is so fast, some laws relating to divorce should be amended. As the procedure is complicated and time taking, a lot of time gets wasted in the proceedings. The proceeding should be time-bound and effective. In cases where the opp. parties are residing outside the jurisdiction of that particular court, appearance through video conferencing should be allowed. It will lessen the financial burden upon that party who manages to travel long distances by taking leave from office and bear unnecessary expenses.