Grounds of Divorce under Hindu Law

13. Divorce.

(1) Any marriage solemnized, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party-

 

(i) has, after the solemnization of the marriage, had voluntary, sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse; or

 

(ia) has, after the solemnization of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty; or

 

(ib) has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition; or]

 

(ii) has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion; or

 

(iii) has been incurably of unsound mind, or has been suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent; or

 

(iv) has been suffering from a virulent and incurable from of leprosy; or

 

(v) has been suffering from venereal disease in a communicable from ; or

 

(vi) has renounced the world by entering any religious order; or

 

(vii) has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of it, had that party been alive.

 

Either party to a marriage, whether solemnized before or after the commencement of this Act, may also present a petition for the dissolution of the marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground- (i) that there has been no resumption of cohabitation as between the parties to the marriage for a period of one year or upwards after the passing of a decree for judicial separation in a proceeding to which they were parties; or

 

There has been no restitution of conjugal rights as between the parties to the marriage for a period of one year or upwards after the passing of a decree for restitution of conjugal rights in a proceeding to which they were parties.

 

A wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of her marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground,- (i) in the case of any marriage solemnized before the commencement of this Act, that the husband had married again before such commencement or that any other wife of the husband married before such commencement was alive at the time of the solemnization of the marriage of the petitioner: Provided that in either case the other wife is alive at the time of the presentation of the petition ; or (ii).that the husband has, since the solemnization of the marriage, been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality; or

 

(iii) that in suit under section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, (78 of 1956.) or in a proceeding under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 a decree or order, as the case may be, has been passed against the husband awarding maintenance to the wife notwithstanding that she was living apart and that since the passing of such decree or order, cohabitation between the parties has not been resumed for one year or upwards;

 

(iv) that her marriage (whether consummated or not) was solemnized before she attained the age of fifteen years and she has repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of eighteen years. Explanation.-

 

In any proceeding under this Act, on a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce, except in so far as the petition is founded on the grounds mentioned in clauses (ii), (vi) and (vii) of sub-section (1) of section 13, the court may, if it considers it just so to do having regard to the circumstances of the case, pass instead a decree for judicial separation.

 

13B. Divorce by mutual consent. (1)Subject to the provisions of this Act a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce may be presented to the district court by both the parties to a marriage together, whether such marriage was solemnized before or after the commencement of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976, (68 of 1976.) on the ground that they have been living separately for a period of one year or more, that they have not been able to live together and that they have mutually agreed that the marriage should be dissolved. (2) On the motion of both the parties made not earlier than six months after the date of the presentation of the petition referred to in sub-section (1) and not later than eighteen months after the said date, if the petition is not withdrawn in the meantime, the court shall, on being satisfied, after hearing the parties and after making such inquiry as it thinks fit, that a marriage has been solemnized and that the averments in the petition are true, pass a decree of divorce declaring the marriage to be dissolved with effect from the date of the decree.

 

 

 

Prakash Yedhula 
on 10 February 2008
Published in Family Law
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