A Constitution Bench of 5 judges held as follows,
From Para 40,
40. In view of our findings recorded above, we are of the opinion that the decisions of this Court in Manish Goel (supra), Neelam Kumar (supra), Darshan Gupta (supra), Hitesh Bhatnagar (supra), Savitri Pandey (supra) and others have to be read down in the context of the power of this Court given by the Constitution of India to do ‘complete justice’ in exercise of the jurisdiction under Article 142(1) of the Constitution of India. In consonance with our findings on the scope and ambit of the power under Article 142(1) of the Constitution of India, in the context of matrimonial disputes arising out of the Hindu Marriage Act, we hold that the power to do‘complete justice’ is not fettered by the doctrine of fault and blame, applicable to petitions for divorce under Section 13(1)(i-a) of theHindu Marriage Act. As held above, this Court’s power to dissolve marriage on settlement by passing a decree of divorce by mutual consent, as well as quash and set aside other proceedings, including criminal proceedings, remains and can be exercised.
From Para 41,
Shilpa Sailesh Vs Varun Sreenivasan on 01 May 2023
41. Lastly, we must express our opinion on whether a party can directly canvass before this Court the ground of irretrievable breakdown by filing a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution. In Poonam v. Sumit Tanwar65, a two judges’ bench of this Court has rightly held that any such attempt must be spurned and not accepted, as the parties should not be permitted to file a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, or for that matter under Article 226 of the Constitution of India before the High Court, and seek divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage. The reason is that the remedy of a person aggrieved by the decision of the competent judicial forum is to approach the superior tribunal/forum for redressal of his/her grievance. The parties should not be permitted to circumvent the procedure by resorting to the writ jurisdiction under Article 32 or 226 of the Constitution of India, as the case may be. Secondly, and more importantly, relief under Article 32 of the Constitution of India can be sought to enforce the rights conferred by Part III of the Constitution of India, and on the proof of infringement thereof. Judicial orders passed by the court in, or in relation to, the proceedings pending before it, are not amenable to correction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.66 Therefore, a party cannot file a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India and seek relief of dissolution of marriage directly from this Court. While we accept the said view, we also clarify that reference in Poonam (supra) to Manish Goel (supra) and the observation that it is questionable whether the period of six months for moving the second motion can be waived has not been approved by us.