HC objects to drafting of matrimonial settlement deeds on printed proforma

The Delhi High Court has taken serious objection to drafting of settlement agreements in matrimonial cases on printed proforma by mediation centres, and said the settlement deed should show application of mind.

The court directed that mediation centres and family courts should ensure that settlement deeds are drafted properly and not on a printed proforma.

“It is pertinent to mention here that this court while dealing with petitions of matrimonial quashing often comes across settlement agreements being drafted by the mediation centres which are on a printed proforma. This court takes serious objection to it,” Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma said.

The high court’s directions came while quashing criminal proceedings against a man in a matrimonial dispute case as the parties have already obtained a divorce decree and amicably settled the matter.

“I consider that there would be no purpose of continuing with the trial as the parties have entered into the settlement voluntarily without any fear, force and coercion, and have decided to give quietus to the proceedings. It was a matrimonial dispute which has been amicably settled and thus the parties must be given a chance to move on with their lives,” Justice Sharma said.

The parties to the dispute had got married in 2015 and certain differences cropped up between them within a year after which they started living separately.

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The high court said the settlement on the printed proforma sometimes gives an impression that there is no application of mind and the settlement deed has been drafted mechanically.

“Therefore, the mediation centres and the family courts are directed to ensure that the settlement deeds are drafted properly and it should not be on a printed proforma. This court has also come across various settlement deeds which are not in consonance with the judgment of the Supreme Court,” it said.

The high court, which said the copy of settlement deeds should be legible, added that a copy of this judgment be circulated to all the mediation centres and family courts with a direction to draft the settlement deed showing due application of mind.

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