The Apex Court on Thursday announced that the Divorce approved by the Christian Personal Law Court wouldn’t override the law and also the Supreme Court rejected a petition that wants according to legal sanction to such separations issued by the Church Court.

A bench heading Chief Justice J S Khekar and Justice D Y Chandrachud closed the petition applied by Clarence Pais, a former president of Karnataka Catholic Association. He said that the issue had been settled by it in its 1996 result delivered in Molly Joseph vs George Sebastian divorce case.

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Canon Law, which is the personal law of Christians, may have scriptural or religious allegations to the parties. After the Divorce Act came into existence, a suspension or withdrawal approved under such personal law can’t have any lawful influence as law provided a different process and a different code for divorce or withdrawal,” says Supreme Court.

Former President of Karnataka Catholic Association Mr. Pais, in his PIL filed in 2013 had said, the Divorce Granted by a church, set up under its personal law could be considered valid under the Indian Common Law which was done in the case of Muslims with respect to ‘Triple Talaq.’

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Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee had questioned that when triple Talaq could get legal holiness for granting divorce to Muslim couples why could ‘Cannon Law verdicts not be made compulsory on course of law. Sorabjee had also claimed that many Catholic Christians, who married after getting divorce from Church Courts faced many criminal charges of adultery as such divorces are not recognized by the civil and criminal courts.

The Government, however not accepted the petition of Mr. Pais saying Canon law can’t be acceptable to dominate Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 and Divorce Act, 1869.


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