In various judgement and particularly in Y Narasimha Rao and Ors. Vs. Y. Venkata Lakshmi and Anr, Supreme Court (1991) Hon. Supreme Court has set the conditions to validate a foreign divorce decree in India. These are –
- When the divorce is granted based on grounds recognized by Indian law – Cruelty / Desertion / Adultery etc. are some of the valid grounds for divorce in India. So any divorce granted on any of these grounds by a foreign court will be valid in India too.
- When provisions of Indian law are not breached – If the marriage or related divorce procedure follows Indian laws, a foreign divorce decree will be valid in India. For example, Indian Muslim Laws does not recognize Mutha Marriage (marriage of a short duration) and hence a divorce decree for this kind of marriage is not valid in India.
- Decree pronounced by a court with right jurisdiction–This means that the court is either at a place where the said marriage was solemnized or where the parties had lived last as husband and wife or where the respondent lived. One cannot travel to a foreign country to obtain a divorce and expect that to be valid in India.
- Decree that followed Principles of Natural Justice – The decree should have been obtained after a fair process of trial with both parties equally represented. This makes ex parte decrees from foreign courts invalid in India.
- When the divorce was decided on merits of the case – This is possible when both parties are equally represented and pieces of evidence of both parties were presented and discussed in the court.
- The decree was not obtained by fraud/coercion – Any decree obtained through fraud/coercion is not valid in India.
Special Thanks – Shonee Kapoor