Bengaluru: Karnataka’s family courts disposed of the fourth highest number of divorce petitions in 2014, after Kerala, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
In 2014, 16,690 couples parted ways in Karnataka. At the beginning of the year 2015, 23,285 petitions were pending in the family courts.
“I represent about 25 divorce cases a day . Judges are unable to spend more than six minutes on a case because of the increased case load,” says BN Nagaraj, an advocate practising in a family court.
“In most cases, the reason is a complete breakdown of compatibility within a few years. I am also seeing cases of second marriages breaking down,” he notes.
Apart from adultery and impotency , one partner coming out as a homosexual after marriage is also becoming a reason for divorce. Lawyer Rishi K Ruia says the increase in cases indicates that “women are no longer willing to take nonsense and make unfair adjustments”.
Between 2007 and 2015, the Bengaluru mediation centre dealt with 27,611 cases related to marital disputes. “Of these, 20,307 have been settled. There were 114 reunions in 2015. This year, from January to June 18, we effected 104 reunions of couples through mediation,” says Chandrashekar Reddy , director of the mediation centre. There has been no increa se in divorce cases, he reveals.
“About 15 to 20 years ago, disputes were resolved at home. Taking into consideration the rising population of Bengaluru, which stands at close to 1crore, the number of divorce petitions has not seen an extraordinary rise.The city is home to 50-60 lakh families, and we get a little more than 20,000 petitions.That’s not a large number,” Chandrashekar observes. According to Rani Shetty, director of Vanita Sahayavani, a women’s help line in the Bengaluru police commis sioner’s office, 10 to 15 cases pertaining to marital disharmony are referred to the mediation centre every month. “We get all kinds of cases, from domestic violence to adultery, leading to failure of marriage. There is an increase in the number of unconsummated marriages where counselling does not help and we suggest that they seek divorce,” she said.