Both presented themselves in the court at Bandra Kurla Complex with their lawyers by their side. She had Kranti Sathe and he had Delhi-based lawyers Aman and Priya Hingorani who said that the court accepted the settlement terms as agreed upon in the Supreme Court by both earlier this year.
Earlier in December 2014 the couple who had filed a mutual consent divorce petition in the Mumbai family court had disagreed on certain issues at their final hearing. The court had then asked them to work things out and return next February. But when they still couldn’t work it out, last December, Sunjay filed a petition for divorce on grounds of cruelty by her. She filed a domestic violence and abuse petition against him earlier this year. He had moved the SC to have the matter transferred out of Mumbai and the apex court asked both to resolve the marital dispute amicably.
The SC gave a stamp of approval to a settlement both agreed up in April 2016 in which she got to keep custody of their two children, a boy and a girl, and he got to have access to them twice a month on weekends and several days of every vacation. As agreed, both moved the family court in Bandra on Monday and after the principle judge verified that everything was in order, she granted them the divorce, making them officially an ex of each other. Karisma who starred in and won a Filmfare award for ‘Raja Hindustani’ resides at Oberoi Crest, Khar and Sunjay in ChankyaPuri, Delhi.
Their petition for mutual consent divorce was under the Hindu Marriage Act. Under the law, once a mutual consent plea is filed, there is a first a six month cooling off period to give both sides time to rethink or reconnect, at the end of which when both confirm their decision to split the divorce is granted. But they also have time for up to another year to work on their decision to take divorce by consent. Law also allows a unilateral divorce petition to be converted to a mutual consent one, as was finally done in the Kapoor vs Kapur case.
It was Sunjay who first moved the family court in Bandra in May 2014. Both were estranged by then. He had filed a custody petition for both his children on the grounds that Karisma, the 40-year-old daughter of the yesteryear actors Randhir Kapoor and Babita Kapoor and elder sister of Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor, was allegedly seeing someone else. They had converted the petition to one for mutual consent divorce. But after it failed, and he moved for divorce, and she levelled allegations of domestic violence against him, the SC while hearing his plea for transfer ended their dispute by accepting their mutual consent terms for a divorce. The formalities were completed on Monday at the Mumbai family court.