Read Order: Rupinder Kaur and Kuljit Singh 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, March 4, 2022: While dealing with a case where a divorced couple after reconciling differences, started cohabiting with each other along with their children, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that an appeal against the decree of divorce obtained by the parties by way of mutual consent under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, is maintainable.

The above ruling of the Bench of Justices Ritu Bahri and Justice Ashok Kumar Verma has come in light of what was held by the Division Bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Jyoti V/s. Neeraj Kumar Saini, 2019 (1) R.C.R. (Civil) 748. In this case, while referring to the judgment passed in Krishna Khetarpal, Headmistress, Government Girls High School, Bhuna, Tehsil Fatehabad, District Hisar v. Satish Lal; 1986 (2) PLR 608, the Division Bench held that under Section 28 of the Act, an appeal against the consent decree of divorce under Section 13-B of the Act by either party is maintainable as a matter of right. 

The factual background of the case is such that the marriage of the appellants was solemnized in 2002 and out of this wedlock two children were born. On account of temperamental differences, they started living separately in 2012. Ultimately, a petition under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA) for dissolution of marriage by way of mutual consent was filed and the same was allowed by the impugned order. 

However, after getting a decree of divorce with mutual consent under Section 13-B of the Act, the appellants reconciled their differences and started living together as husband and wife along with their children. Thus, the present appeal challenging the decree of divorce was filed by the appellants jointly, which was supported by their respective affidavits. 

While holding that their appeal was maintainable and in light of the fact that the parties were staying together happily since March 2021, the Court opined that it was never too late to mend ways.

Thus, keeping in view the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, the instant appeal was allowed and the impugned judgment & decree were set aside.

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