After 14 years, SC lifts stay granted in divorce case


Fourteen years after staying a divorce proceeding pending before a district court in Delhi, the Supreme Court on Wednesday lifted the stay and allowed the plea of a woman who was seeking transfer of the case to some other court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi noted that a petition seeking transfer of the case was filed by the woman and the apex court had stayed the proceedings pending in the lower court in April 2005.

While hearing the case in 2005, the apex court had expanded its ambit by raising the larger issue of compulsory registration of marriage.

The bench Wednesday sought to know about the woman who had filed the transfer petition.

“What happened to the main case of the lady who had come here for transfer of case? Where has she gone. The (stay) order was of 2005. What has happened to that lady?,” asked the bench, which also comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.

“They (woman and her husband) must have become old, too old to seek divorce. For 14 years, the divorce proceedings remained stayed and we are doing all this. We have collected so many pages,” the CJI said.

In February 2006, the top court had delivered a landmark verdict on it and said that marriages of all Indian citizens, belonging to various religions, should be made compulsorily registrable in the states where they were solemnised. It had passed several directions to the Centre and states.

The bench noted in its order that though judgement was delivered in February 2006 by the apex court, the transfer petition filed by the woman was not answered.

“We are of the view that no purpose would be served by keeping the proceedings pending,” the bench said.

It vacated the stay granted by the court in April 2005 and allowed the plea filed by the woman.