: India's Supreme Court has ruled that the minimum cooling off period of six months can be waived for Hindu couples seeking divorce, China's Xinhua news agency reported.
Currently, under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, after a couple files for divorce in a family court claiming mutual consent, it has to wait for 18 months -- first one year of separation followed by a six-month "cooling off" period to explore the possibility of a reunion.
However, the apex court said in its ruling Tuesday that it is pointless to "perpetuate a purposeless marriage and to prolong the agony of the parties," and made it clear it will be up to individual judges to waive off the mandatory six-month wait for couples seeking divorce.
"Though every effort has to be made to save a marriage, if there are no chances of reunion and there are chances of fresh rehabilitation, the court should not be powerless in enabling the parties to have a better option," the Supreme Court said.
"The six-month waiver should apply where the couple has settled differences, including alimony and child custody," it added.
The court's order came in the wake of a plea by an estranged couple who had sought waiver of the six-month period on the ground that they had been living separately for the past eight years and were confident that they would not be reconciled with each other.