Bill to add Irretrievable breakdown new ground for divorce amending the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Special Marriage Act, 1954
Wed, Aug 4 08:02 PM
New Delhi, Aug 4 (PTI) Getting a divorce from marriage, which has broken down for all practical purposes, could become easier, as the government today introduced a bill in the Rajya Sabha to amend marriage laws. The amendments proposed in the Hindu Marriage Act and Special Marriage Act will also make divorce through mutual consent easier, according to the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, introduced by Law Minister M Veerappa Moily.
The amendment bill also provides for an additional grounds for seeking divorce in case of "irretrievable breakdown of marriage". It seeks to do away with the provision of second joint appearance before the court after six to 18 months of filing of divorce petition, with mutual consent.
The present clause of joint appearance for seeking decree of divorce creates problem as often one of the parties fails to appear before the court on some pretext or the other. This leaves one of them "hapless and remediless", according to the objects and reasons of the bill.
The bill also seeks to insert a new clause under which either husband or wife can seek divorce if the couple have not lived together continuously for three years. However, in case the husband seeks divorce, the wife will be entitled to oppose it on the ground that the dissolution of marriage would result in financial hardship to her.
Similarly, a provision has been made to restrict grant of divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage in the absence of adequate provision for maintenance of children. The amendment bill has been prepared on the basis of recommendations of the Law Commission as well as the Supreme Court, Moily said.
The clause of irretrievable breakdown of marriage will be in addition to the existing grounds for divorce. At present, various grounds for dissolution of marriage are laid down in law.
These include adultery, cruelty, desertion, conversion to another religion and unsoundness of mind.
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NEW DELHI: A bill seeking to make divorce easier in case of "irretrievable breakdown of marriage" was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, moved by law minister M Veerappa Moily, aims at mitigating hardships by allowing divorce in cases of complete failure of marriages.
At present, the petition for a divorce on the ground of mutual consent could be presented by the spouses together before the court under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and the Special Marriage Act 1954.
While both parties have to move a motion jointly before the court between six and 18 months of the original petition, it has been observed in several cases that one of them does not turn up.
This leaves parties desirous of obtaining decree of divorce hapless and remediless. In order to mitigate such hardships and to allow divorce in cases of complete failure of such marriages, the bill seeks to amend the Hindu Marriage Act and the Special Marriage Act.
The condition of moving the motion before the court subsequent to the first petition would be done away with, it said.
However, in case the wife happens to be the respondent to the petition, she is entitled to oppose it on the ground that the dissolution of marriage would result in grave financial hardship to her.
Similarly, a provision has been made to restrict grant of divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage if the court is satisfied that adequate provision for maintenance of children has not been made.
The amendment bill has been prepared on the recommendations of the Law Commission as well as the Supreme Court.
The clause of irretrievable breakdown of marriage will be in addition to the existing grounds for divorce.