Hindus who have divorced can marry again 90 days after the Indian equivalent of a decree absolute has been issued – provided there has been no appeal.
The Bombay High Court in Mumbai reached this conclusion its ruling on a recent marital appeal. A trio of Justices had been asked to consider an apparent conflict in two key pieces of marital legislation across the Subcontinent. The Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and the Family Courts Act 1984 quote different time periods for filing an appeal against a divorce application. The former quotes a 90 day deadline while the latter cites only 30 days.
A husband living in the city of Thane near Mumbai had challenged the divorce decree issued to his wife by a local family court. The decree was issued on April 22 and he appealed on July 3, but the woman remarried just six days later, within 90 days of the decree being issued. He argued that her second marriage was therefore invalid under the law.
A lower court had previously favoured the 30 day period but this decision was overturned at the High Court, which believed the 90 day period cited by section 15 the Hindu Marriage Act should take precedence.
The longer period was fairer to litigants, the Justices declared.