A division bench of the Supreme Court held as follows in a divorce matter between a couple who lived separately for 25 years…
From Para 8,
8. This case has travelled from the Family Court to the High Court and now finally to this Court. The decision of Delhi High Court is of 08.04.2011, which goes back to twelve years. We have to take into consideration all the facts which are before us as of now. To our mind the facts which we must take into account are: (i) that the “couple” is now living separately for the last almost 25 years, and all these years there has been no cohabitation between them. (ii) That there is no child out of the wedlock, and the couple lived together as husband and wife for barely 4 years. (iii) That repeated efforts by the Courts for reconciliation or settlement have resulted in failure.
From Para 10,
10. The husband and wife, who are before us have been living separately since the last 25 years. There is no child out of the wedlock. There are bitter allegations of cruelty and desertion from both the sides and multiple litigations between the two in the last more than 25 years. This embittered
relationship between the appellant and the respondent which has not witnessed any moment of peace for the last 25 years is a marital relationship only on paper. The fact is that this relationship has broken down irretrievably long back.
From Paras 12 and 13,
12. Other aspect which we must consider is the fact that for the last 25 years the appellant and respondent, are living separately, and have not cohabitated. There is absolutely no scope of reconciliation between the parties. There is in fact no bond between the two and as the Law Commission in its 71st report said about such a marriage, which is a marriage which has de facto broken down, and only needs a de jure recognition by the law. The same was reiterated by the Law Commission in its 217th report.
13. Under similar circumstances, this Court in R. Srinivas Kumar v. R. Shametha3, Munish Kakkar v. Nidhi Kakkar4 and Neha Tyagi v. Lieutenant Colonel Deepak Tyagi5 has held that an irretrievable marriage is a marriage where husband and wife have been living separately for a considerable period and there is absolutely no chance of their living together again. In all the above cited three cases, this Court in exercise of its power under Article 142 of the Constitution of India has dissolved the marriage on the ground of irretrievable breakdown as a ground, which otherwise does not exist under the Hindu Marriage Act.
Finally, Para 20,
Rakesh Raman Vs Kavita on 26 Apr 2023
20. However, considering the fact that the appellant/husband is an employee in Life Insurance Corporation, as we have been informed at the Bar and his present salary is more than Rs.1,00,000/(One Lakh Rupees) per month, we deem it fit and proper that he gives an amount of Rs.30,00,000/ (Thirty Lakh Rupees) to the respondent/wife as permanent alimony. This amount of Rs.30,00,000/ (Thirty Lakh Rupees) shall be deposited in the name of the respondent, within a period of four weeks from today with the Registry of this Court. The decree of divorce shall be made effective only from the date of such a deposit. On the event of such deposit, the Registry after verifying the credentials of the respondent/wife shall disburse the amount to the respondent/wife without further reference to this Court.