Section 21A in Hindu Marriage Act 1955

Title:  Power to transfer petitions in certain cases

Description: 1[21A. Power to transfer petitions in certain cases.— (1) Where— (a) a petition under this Act has been presented to a district court having jurisdiction by a party to a marriage praying for a decree for judicial separation under section 10 or for a decree of divorce under section 13, and (b) another petition under this Act has been presented thereafter by the other party to the marriage praying for a decree for judicial separation under section 10 or for a decree of divorce under section 13 on any ground, whether in the same district court or in a different district court, in the same State or in a different State, the petitions shall be dealt with as specified in sub-section (2). (2) In a case where sub-section (1) applies, (a) if the petitions are presented to the same district court, both the petitions shall be tried and heard together by that district court; (b) if the petitions are presented to different district courts, the petition presented later shall be transferred to the district court in which the earlier petition was presented and both the petitions shall be heard and disposed of together by the district court in which the earlier petition was presented. (3) In a case where clause (b) of sub-section (2) applies, the court or the Government, as the case may be, competent under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), to transfer any suit or proceeding from the district court in which the later petition has been presented to the district court in which the earlier petition is pending, shall exercise its powers to transfer such later petition as if it had been empowered so to do under the said Code. 1. Ins. by Act 68 of 1976, s. 14 (w.e.f. 27-5-1976)

Title:  Special provision relating to trial and disposal of petitions under the Act

Description: (1) The trial of a petition under this Act shall, so far as is practicable consistently with the interests of justice in respect of the trial, be continued from day to day until its conclusion unless the court finds the adjournment of the trial beyond the following day to be necessary for reasons to be recorded. (2) Every petition under this Act shall be tried as expeditiously as possible and endeavour shall be made to conclude the trial within six months from the date of service of notice of the petition on the respondent. (3) Every appeal under this Act shall be heard as expeditiously as possible, and endeavour shall be made to conclude the hearing within three months from the date of service of notice of appeal on the respondent.

Title: Documentary evidence

Description: Notwithstanding anything in any enactment to the contrary, no document shall be inadmissible in evidence in any proceeding at the trial of a petition under this Act on the ground that it is not duly stamped or registered.

Title: Proceedings to be in camera and may not be printed or published

Description: 1[22. Proceedings to be in camera and may not be printed or published.—(1) Every proceeding under this Act shall be conducted in camera and it shall not be lawful for any person to print or publish any matter in relation to any such proceeding except a judgment of the High Court or of the Supreme Court printed or published with the previous permission of the court. (2) If any person prints or publishes any matter in contravention of the provisions contained in sub-section (1), he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees. 1. Subs. by Act 68 of 1976, s. 15, for s. 22 (w.e.f. 27-5-1976).

Title: Decree in proceedings

Description: (1) In any proceeding under this Act, whether defended or not, if the court is satisfied that (a) any of the grounds for granting relief exists and the petitioner 1[except in cases where the relief is sought by him on the ground specified in sub-clause (a), sub-clause (b) or sub-clause (c) of clause (ii) of section 5] is not in any way taking advantage of his or her own wrong or disability for the purpose of such relief, and (b) where the ground of the petition is the ground specified 2* * * in clause (i) of sub-section (1) of section 13, the petitioner has not in any manner been accessory to or connived at or condoned the act or acts complained of, or where the ground of the petition is cruelty the petitioner has not in any manner condoned the cruelty, and 1[(bb) when a divorce is sought on the ground of mutual consent, such consent has not been obtained by force, fraud or undue influence, and] (c)3[the petition (not being a petition presented under section 11)] is not presented or prosecuted in collusion with the respondent, and (d) there has not been any unnecessary or improper delay in instituting the proceeding, and (e) there is no other legal ground why relief should not be granted, then, and in such a case, but not otherwise, the court shall decree such relief accordingly. (2) Before proceeding to grant any relief under this Act, it shall be the duty of the court in the first instance, in every case where it is possible so to do consistently with the nature and circumstances of the case, to make every endeavour to bring about reconciliation between the parties: 4[Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall apply to any proceeding wherein relief is sought on any of the grounds specified in clause (ii), clause (iii), clause (iv), clause (v), clause (vi) or clause (vii) of sub-section (1) of section 13.] 5[(3) For the purpose of aiding the court in bringing about such reconciliation, the court may, if the parties so desire or if the court thinks it just and proper so to do, adjourn the proceedings for a reasonable period not exceeding fifteen days and refer the matter to any person named by the parties in this behalf or to any person nominated by the court if the parties fail to name any person, with directions to report to the court as to whether reconciliation can be and has been, effected and the court shall in disposing of the proceeding have due regard to the report. (4) In every case where a marriage is dissolved by a decree of divorce, the court passing the decree shall give a copy thereof free of cost to each of the parties.] 1. Ins. by s. 16, ibid. (w.e.f. 27-5-1976). 2. The words, bracket, letter of figure in clause (f) of sub-section (1) of section 10 or omitted by s. 16, ibid. (w.e.f. 27-5-1976). 3. Subs. by s. 16, ibid., for the petition (w.e.f. 27-5-1976). 4. Added by s. 16, ibid. (w.e.f. 27-5-1976). 5. Ins. by Act 68 of 1976, s. 16 (w.e.f. 27-5-1976)