Supreme Court of India Orders Divorce After Settlement Agreement Violated

Supreme Court Dissolves Marriage Over Violated Settlement

Settlement Terms and Disagreement

The Supreme Court of India has dissolved the marriage between a petitioner-wife and respondent-husband after the wife violated a settlement agreement. The wife had initially filed a petition to transfer a case under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, from Varanasi, U.P., to Pune, Maharashtra. This case, Matrimonial Case No. 2172/2022, was dismissed for lack of prosecution but later reinstated to explore amicable settlement through the Supreme Court Mediation Centre. On February 26, 2024, the parties reached a settlement outlining terms for dissolving the marriage.

Key Terms of the Settlement

The settlement required the respondent-husband to pay significant amounts as alimony and for the child’s expenses:

  • Rs. 20 lakhs for the child’s expenses from March 2020 to October 2023.
  • Rs. 1 crore 15 lakhs as full and final alimony, with Rs. 50 lakhs paid in February 2024, Rs. 50 lakhs due by August 31, 2024, and the remaining Rs. 15 lakhs by December 31, 2024.
  • The petitioner-wife was to retrieve her gold and jewelry from a bank locker in Varanasi between March 14 and 20, 2024.

Violation and Court’s Decision

The respondent-husband fulfilled part of the settlement by paying Rs. 50 lakhs and withdrawing his matrimonial case on April 23, 2024. However, the petitioner-wife attempted to retract from the settlement after benefiting from these terms. The Court observed her actions as unjustified and highlighted her disregard for the agreed conditions, putting the respondent-husband at a disadvantage.

In a similar precedent, Ruchi Agarwal v. Amit Kumar Agrawal and Others, the Court addressed such non-compliance, deeming it an abuse of the judicial process. Reflecting on this, the Supreme Court concluded that the marital relationship had irretrievably broken down and invoked its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India to grant the divorce.


The Court ruled in favor of the respondent-husband, emphasizing the importance of adhering to settlement agreements. The petitioner-wife’s conduct was criticized, and the remaining settlement terms were mandated for enforcement. The petition was allowed, and the marriage was officially dissolved without any order as to costs. Pending applications were also disposed of, concluding the legal proceedings.

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