New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that
even a questionable and ab initio void judicial verdict
continues to subsist unless specifically set aside by a
competent court of law on a plea by the affected party.
A bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan has
reiterated this legal priciple while quashing a criminal
complaint by a woman in Punjab accusing her former husband,
from whom she had secured a divorce as per mutual consent, of
indulging in domestic violence against her.
The woman had lodged the complaint in a magisterial court
against her former husband under the Protection of Woman from
the Domestic Violence Act contending the decree of divorce she
had procured from her husband as per mutual consent was a sham
and she herself was "a party to the fraud on court."
"It is well-settled principle of law that even a void
order is required to be set aside by a competent court of law
as an order may be void in respect of one person but may be
valid in respect of another," the bench said.
"An order cannot be declared to be void in collateral
proceedings and that too in the absence of the authorities who
were the authors thereof," the bench added.
Married to a Punjab college professor Inderjit Singh
Grewal in September 1998, Amandeep Kaur, a lecturer in another
college, had moved a civil court in September 2007 for divorce
on the basis of mutual consent and got it six months later in
March, 2008, when the couple reiterated their intention to
part ways, saying they have settled their issues of alimony
etcetera for good.