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A woman, allegedly gang-raped and tortured at home, had filed a case against her husband with charges under Section 498A, IPC, involving proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act and other connected matrimonial matters. Now she has said that she would like to have a divorce by mutual consent and the decree of divorce, earlier granted by the Family Court, may be set aside.

While on Wednesday (May 16) the Supreme Court bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Mohan M Shantanagoudar posted the matter for hearing after the vacation as the petitioner (Ms M) was not present in court and mediation between the parties was not possible, senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing on behalf of Delhi Legal Services Authority, had opined during the last hearing (February 21) that things would possibly not come back to a settlement so soon.

She said that the records have been perused and in her opinion, this is not a fit case where a closure report ought to have been filed (by the local police in Chhattisgarh). She said that protest petition has been prepared and she will hand it over to the Member Secretary, of the Delhi Legal Services Authority who will, in turn, hand it over to the Member Secretary, Chhattisgarh State Legal Services Authority for appropriate action.

When the court asked the opinion of the respondent, the counsel of the respondent, the husband, pointed out that the special leave petition against the decree of divorce as well as the review petition against SLP has been dismissed by the apex court.

On February 21 the court had observed that notwithstanding the issues attached, since certain allegations have been made against the petitioner, “we have put it to the learned counsel appearing for the husband to consider for the sake of the future of the petitioner, if the parties can agree to a divorce by mutual consent and withdrawal of the decree of divorce already granted by the Family Court.”

The counsel appearing for the husband said on Wednesday that he would like to take instructions in this regard and will get back to us within two weeks.

The petitioner also stated that she was not insisting in pursuing any of the cases against her husband.

Indira Jaising said: “We have also been told that there are allegations that the petitioner was gang raped and the local police in Chhattisgarh has filed a closure report. We request Mr Rathi, Director in National Legal Services Authority who is present in court, to monitor this and inform us on the next date of hearing about the status of the protest petition. The petitioner says that she is required to attend the court of Judicial Magistrate, First Class, District Bemetara in some other case tomorrow.”

Until further orders, proceedings in this case are stayed.

—India Legal Bureau

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