Can’t decide on Jewish couple’s divorce plea: HC
Bombay HC said Jews are regulated by their personal laws and there is not statute on their matrimonial affairs
Mumbai: A Jewish couple’s petition for divorce by mutual consent was dismissed by the family court, Bandra, as “there is no such provision in the uncodified Jewish law governing matrimonial affairs”.
The court heard a petition by the couple, both Indian citizens who got married in accordance with Jewish customs in December 2012. In September 2013, the wife, a chartered accountant, was allegedly driven out of the matrimonial home. She moved the family court in August 2014 to seek a divorce under the uncodified Jewish law, citing cruelty and domestic violence. In her petition, she also mentioned the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, and the Family Court Act, 1984, with regards to the court’s jurisdiction in suits or proceedings that concern validity of a marriage or matrimonial status of a person.
The husband, a marketing professional, countered the woman’s allegation and said that he underwent physical stress and mental agony at her hands. After counselling sessions, both agreed to amicably settle the dispute and executed consent terms. However, in March 2018, the court directed both the parties to argue how the petition is maintainable for granting divorce by mutual consent under the Jewish law.
The wife’s advocate, Neelofar Akhtar, and the husband’s advocate, Rani Rajwade, conceded before Judge S N Rukme there is no codified law to grant such relief to Jews. But Akhtar pointed out the family court had earlier allowed divorce by mutual consent for Jewish couples.
The judge, in his September 24, 2018, order, said the Bombay HC has laid down that Jews are regulated by their personal law and there is no statute governing their matrimonial affairs.