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Bhartiya No. 1 (Nationalist)     24 September 2010

An Article on IrBM!!

In India marriage is considered as sacrosanct/sacred. And control on divorce is necessary to put a check on the persons who take marriage as a fun. Absence of any of the parent can not fulfilled by any other means. So, the marital bond should not get disturbed by the trifles, and must remain intact against all odds. Unless loopholes get plugged, marriage will become fun.  Below is the article on IrBM(“irretrievable breakdown of marriage”), plz, go thru this,

The Other Half: Why make divorce easy?

KALPANA SHARMA

 

In a society like ours, is it necessary to rush through with the “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” clause without examining its impact on the vast majority of poor women? Divorce is still relatively uncommon in India compared to many other countries. The incidence of divorce is barely 1.9 per cent of registered marriages.

What are the laws that need the urgent attention of the government? One that deals with the increasing, and horrific, instances of so-called “honour” killings, where young women and men are being murdered for no other reason than choosing whom they will marry, a right that is guaranteed to them as citizens of this democratic country? Or one that will make divorce easier for those who want to opt out of marriage?

These are not mutually exclusive choices. But because they have a direct impact on the lives of millions of women and men, they cannot be rushed through without adequate thought and debate. On the former, there is still some discussion and no conclusion yet. On the latter, strangely enough, the government seems to have made up its mind and is contemplating introducing a new provision in The Hindu Marriage Act that will permit divorce under “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”.

Divorce is still relatively uncommon in India compared to many other countries. The incidence of divorce is barely 1.9 per cent of registered marriages. This figure of course would not include a much higher percentage of desertions that routinely occur, where men leave their wives and children and live a bigamous life without any fear that the law will ever catch up with them. Such women are left in a limbo, still legally married, unable to go into another relationship, and left without financial support. In a country where poverty and illiteracy are common, the figures if ever collated of such women would be staggering.

Specific grounds

Under the Hindu Marriage Act and the Special Marriage Act there are specific grounds on which divorce can be sought. These include adultery, cruelty, desertion, conversion to another religion, unsoundness of mind, virulent and incurable form of leprosy, venereal disease in a communicable form, renouncement of the world and not heard as being alive for a period of seven years or more. Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act and Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act also provide for divorce by mutual consent. Under this, both parties have to file a petition in court and are given six months after its admission and up to 18 months to change their minds. If neither party withdraws, the divorce is granted.

The government, and the Law Commission in its 217th report (March 2009), holds that the introduction of a provision of no-fault divorce, that is where neither party has to prove that the other committed an offence such as adultery, or cruelty or desertion to file for a divorce, will assist many couples who get caught in legal wrangles when their marriages have already broken down. Sometimes, even when they use the provision of mutual consent, one or the other party pulls out part way through the proceedings, leaving the other with no choice but to resort to a lengthy legal process to get a divorce. The government believes it is introducing this provision to bring such situations to an end.

But lawyers and women's groups, who have known firsthand the problems deserted women, or those who are victims of cruelty within their marriages, or have to live with adulterous husbands, say that such a provision will place a bigger burden on women. At present, a mutual consent divorce is the easiest and only possible way if both parties want to break up. Otherwise, one or the other has to prove a “fault”. Women often do not take the first step, particularly those women who are not financially independent, as they cannot pay for the litigation and also fear that even if there is a divorce, the final settlement will not suffice for them to survive on their own. For instance, apart from maintenance, sometimes the court awards a lump sum if a woman is able to prove her husband falls under any of the categories listed for grounds for divorce. But if the woman has to leave her matrimonial home, she would not have the resources to get another house unless that was part of the final settlement. And the current law does not mandate a formula for a financial settlement that would take care of the woman's shelter needs.

Considerable debate

In countries around the world, including the United States, where the grounds of “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” are part of the statute, there has been considerable debate over its introduction and it has been followed by clear and specific mandates on division of property. In some states in the US, everything is divided equally between the couple after a divorce on these grounds. In India, there is no such provision in the existing law or in the contemplated new addition.

What this will mean in real life is that an adulterous husband can file under this addition to the divorce law and even if he agrees to pay alimony, he is not bound by law to ensure that the woman has adequate resources to survive on her own. Also, in a society where being married grants women “respectability”, a divorce means losing that status. There is no legal compensation for this and no sign that our society is likely to change its attitude toward divorced or unmarried women in a hurry. Hence, women will always hesitate before filing for divorce.

The bottom line is that provisions for divorce are not gender neutral in a society like ours where there is no level playing field for men and women. Therefore, before any such provision is introduced, there needs to be a much closer scrutiny of its impact on poor women without independent economic resources who constitute the majority in this country. You cannot bring in a law that would ease the way for a small minority without considering the impact on this majority.

This is not to say that women or men should be permanently tied into loveless or cruel marriages. Divorce is a way out of such situations and marriage is not sacrosanct as some hold. But the provisions for divorce must be just. Of course, women who have a hard time proving that their husbands are cruel, or bigamous, could also use this provision to end their marriages. But such women are usually those with financial independence and the ability to negotiate a decent settlement. The majority of women would not dare use the provision for fear that they would be left with nothing. On the other hand, for their husbands, this would be a very handy piece of law to opt out of the marriage, and then go in for another.

Let me end by quoting from a reader who responded to the news that the government was going to introduce this provision. Writes Dr. Mitu Khurana from Delhi on the Economic Times website (June 14, 2010):“My husband threw me out because I could not give him sons. I have two daughters. After trying for four years to make my marriage work, for the sake of my daughters, now I have initiated legal action against my husband. So has my marriage broken down irretrievably? Now my insistence not to take any more abuse, has it become a ground for my husband to take divorce and remarry to have sons, which he so badly desires? And what is the fault of my daughters in all this? Just that they were born daughters. That means now no mother should take the stand I took, and simply go ahead with female feticide.”

This is just one voice. There are many more. They need to be heard and heeded. Why is the government in such a hurry?

E-mail the writer: sharma.kalpana@yahoo.com

Source/Link:

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/Kalpana_Sharma/article528276.ece



Learning

 4 Replies


(Guest)

very beautiful article.  Thanks.

Bhartiya No. 1 (Nationalist)     24 September 2010

So many games will be played in the name of “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”. If opting out of marriage be made easier, then it will open floodgate of divorce cases, which our system is inefficient to handle. Ultimately, marriages in India too will become play or fun, and will largely be depend on whims and wishes of the stronger party. It will be like tourist marries for a week, for a month at most for a year, then they return their homes.

Without going deeply into the hard or the ground realities of prevailing customs/situation being practiced widely in the society of the country, this will be hasty move. Also various pro and cons and its’ impact on the deserted women need to be considered. So, deep study of our culture is needed to come to any conclusion. There are so many other loopholes and flaws are there in the present laws, which needs to be corrected and be simplified first.

This will only inflate the number of deserted women present in our country. Worst sufferer will be genuine illiterate, semi-educated, unemployed females of villages and semi-urban areas/small towns, where social stigma of deserted women is so great that no one wants even their presence in all kind of functions/religious ceremonies, they generally get ostracized and considered as “ASHUBH”.  Also they are forced to lead a hellish life and hear/listen hurting or sarcastic comments not worth mentioning. Already, in normal situation when a newlywed bride comes to her matrimonial homes, and coincidently any untoward incidence happen then it is the newlywed bride who listen comments like “Ashubh hai, iske pair (leg) padte hi aisa hadsa ho gaya” and so many others not worth mentioning, and if she (the newlywed bride) commits any mistake or goes wrong then also she hears “Teri Maa Ne Tujhe Yahi Sikhaya Hai or Tere Mayke Ka Maal hai”, even her mother do not get spared.

.Below is the state wise list of deserted women,

 

As per the 2001 census, there are 34.3 million widows and 2.34 million divorced / separated women in the country.

State-wise number of Widow, Divorced and Deserted Women in the country:

 

S. No.

Name of the State

Number of Widowed (Female)

Number of Divorced/Separated women

1.

Andhra Pradesh

3270964

261525

2.

Arunachal Pradesh

25639

2830

3.

Assam

869005

68619

4

A & N Islands

8461

833

5.

Bihar

1887575

35550

6.

Chandigarh

16788

917

7.

Chhattisgarh

771106

90985

8.

Daman & Diu

5511

421

9.

Dadra & Nagar Haveli

4979

521

10.

Delhi

305940

13541

11.

Goa

69052

1835

12.

Gujarat

1614413

105753

13.

Haryana

533974

11410

14.

Himachal Pradesh

229664

8336

15.

Jammu & Kashmir

196604

11072

16.

Jharkhand

822827

44762

17.

Karnataka

2322843

145046

18.

Kerala

1690508

196085

19.

Lakshadweep

2136

551

20.

Madhya Pradesh

1752228

115807

21.

Maharashtra

3726735

326198

22.

Manipur

59459

8068

23.

Mizoram

20373

13181

24.

Meghalaya

59604

23927

25.

Nagaland

26516

6008

26.

Orissa

1370123

98196

27.

Punjab

662113

22595

28.

Pondicherry

53040

3865

29.

Rajasthan

1589726

49544

30.

Sikkim

10005

2366

31.

Tamil Nadu

2976137

249356

32.

Tripura

123817

13383

33.

Uttar Pradesh

3763168

112855

34.

Uttaranchal

293331

9645

35.

West Bengal

3155365

287344

 

Total

34289729

2342940

 

Source/link;

https://lawyersclubindia.com/news/Status-of-Widow-Divorced-and-Deserted-Women-11474.asp

https://indiacurrentaffairs.org/status-of-widow-divorced-and-deserted-women/

 

1 Like

Tajobsindia (Senior Partner )     27 September 2010

S Shinde:- Hello Veeru uncle , how are you !!

V Moily:- I am fine dear , how is your papa doing ? The power industry is doing well, I say. They have put me the laaaaw ministry, what to do? No Deal not money.

S Shinde :-
Papa is good last week only he did Rs 10,000 crore just last week see.

S Shinde :-
What happened to the that quick divorce law Veru uncle. I am still waiting you see. Doctor said, I have like a few more years before I reach my designated time (menopause). Please do it faast Veru uncle. Please !!

V Moily :- Don't worry beti, I have created the law, but you see in
India
there are something even i cannot change. It has to go through a process, it is with the parliamentary committee now. This laaaw is just tailored for you, I have studied your case and created the laaaw just for you, so that only you in the country will get the divorce even if others do not get it.

S Shinde :
- Oh that's great Moily uncle, so by when do you think I can get my divorce.

V Moily :- I will try my level besht to enshoore that you get diiivorce by end of December ‘10. Because Jan in good lagna for the stars and you can get marraied by January.

S Shinde:-
But people might oppose to the law uncle .Then what will you do ? You might have to take their suggestions.

V Moily :- When have I taken from the people ? I always give . I Give praamise after praamise. See finally I got Rs 5000 core allocated for the reforms. Now I can fin ally get some money for my retirement from here. Otherwise you see it is very difficult to make any money in the laaaw ministry, I say based on feedbacks of my Family Law friends who say that the real money is in Corporate Law. Let the people say whatever thy waant we will do what what we waant to do. After all Government's work is God's work, and has god ever listed to people. God does whatever he likes to do. People can pray, but it is up to god to listen.

S Shinde :-
Ok Veeru uncle, I need to leave now. I need to shop for Saaries and Jewels for my marraige.

V Moily :- OOOK Beti , We will taaalk later, give my best to daddy.

1 Like

Tajobsindia (Senior Partner )     27 September 2010

???

1 Like

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