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Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage-Another Ground for Divorce

Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage-Another Ground for Divorce


The Law Commission of India submitted to the Government of India, its 217th Report on “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage-Another Ground for Divorice”. The Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Justice A.R.Lakshmanan, former Supreme Court Judge, forwarded the report to the Union Law Minister, Dr. Hans Raj Bhardwaj.


Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 provides grounds for presentation of a petition for divorce. Section 27 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 similarly provides grounds for grant of divorce in the case of a marriage solemnized under the Act. However, the said Acts do not provide “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” as a ground for divorce. The Law Commission of India in its 71st Report title “The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 – Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage as a Ground of Divorce” recommended amendments in the Hindu Marriage Act to make irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a new ground for granting divorce among the Hindus. Recently, the Supreme Court also in Naveen Kohli V. Neelu Kohli (AIR 2006 SC 1675) recommended to the Union of India to seriously consider bringing an amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 to incorporate irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for the grant of divorce.


In view of the above, the Law Commission of India suo motu took up the study of the subject. The Commission examined the extant legislations as well as a number of judgments of the Supreme Court and High Courts on the subject and has expressed the view that “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” should be incorporated as another ground for granting divorce under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954. The Court before granting a decree for divorce on the ground that the marriage has irretrievably broken down should also examine whether adequate financial arrangements have been made for the parties and children.


 9 Replies

ritu bhadana (advocate)     02 April 2009

thanx for the info

Anjali (IT)     02 April 2009

Good news for all affected guys..There should be one more amedment that any matrimonial disputes for a couple should be under one umbrella , ie. in one court unlike now different cases filed under different section in different cities [498A, Crpc125 , DV act , Divorce , Judicial separation etc]. Same couple files different cases in different court then all should be in one court. It is more meaningful. Now parites have to travel differnt cities to attend different cases. It also saves the court time, cost etc.

Learned lawyers , can there be any PIL for this ?

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     02 April 2009

Yes, Anjali is correct. We have enough Courts but less justice. Time is ripped to look into this matter. And Jyoti, thank you for the valuable information, especially the citation of Naveen Kohli case.

Ashey   03 April 2009

Thanks for the Information Mr. Jyothi .... Ms. Anjali's thoughts deserves appaulds ...

Jasween Singh Gujral (Student)     26 October 2009

hey thanks jyoti keep postin

Originally posted by :N.K.Assumi
" Yes, Anjali is correct. We have enough Courts but less justice. Time is ripped to look into this matter. And Jyoti, thank you for the valuable information, especially the citation of Naveen Kohli case. "




Attached File : 29 29 law commission 217th report.pdf downloaded: 389 times



Attached File : 51 51 irretrievable break down of marriage.pdf downloaded: 412 times

sgadhan gupta (job)     15 December 2009



I really don’t have anything against my wife, still have respect for her. In the beginning (1994) – I was much immature (perhaps in emotion and man woman relation till date) and due to some ego from my side, the distance made between us. And it was keep on increasing in several way in many forms. I tried many times to compromise and adjust, but I couldn’t. Several women came in my life (no one through professional life). Now I am realizing, before it’s further late for both of us, it has to be done. We are sleeping in different rooms last 13 months, didn’t intercourse last 18 months (not more than 6 in last 3 years). But I cant live in this manner anymore. I am regularly taking drugs for sleeping, pressure and cholesterol and depression as prescribed by physician. Before it affects my job performance, I want to end it. I can take everything else, but not a bad performance of myself at workplace.
1st I want to change my marital status. I can’t act anymore everyday in home, and want to be fair at least this time to my wife. I know lots of odds will come from my mother and relatives, as everyone dislikes divorce socially. I have to shift for a separate residence (like I did in July 2008), might face financial crunch also. But still I have to do this, my mother is also suffering last few months, guessing my mental condition, and unfortunately in spite of my continuous, trying - relation between wife and mother isn’t healthy yet. My wife stopped using Sindoor, as she also feels marriage is over. I am 40 now, so still have some courage left. But after this it wont be possible. Even in my professional life, people wont take it easily. Still I want to take my own black spots, my failure- to the public, at least to the people who matters; cant play hide and seek game anymore. I stopped myself several times; thinking about my son, but truly speaking he almost doesn’t have any emotional relation with me. It’s perhaps my entire perhaps fault, as he saw, his mother is away from me, he also started maintaining a distance. So, please don’t say me to rethink this time. The issue was already pushed for 10years- but nothing changed. I shall fulfill all their (wife and son) other need like now, but not by staying together anymore. I know healthy parent relationship is essential for kids to grow. But the way I am living is not a healthy way, staying apart is a far better option surely.
Feelings of two human beings are involved in a couple’s married life. This could not be patched up by enforcement of law by courts. It is up to the individuals to mend themselves. A horse can be taken to water but it is the horse that should drink it. However, the law should not deny divorce if the marriage has really broken down. By forcing unity with a hammer in the hand, the law does not serve the sanctity attached to the institution of marriage by religions.
If the relationship of husband and wife wrecks beyond repair, what is wrong in recognizing that fact and allow them to live separately. How can one compel a wife or a husband to continue to live with spouse if they have fallen apart? If so compelled they would have to lead miserable life.
My wife knows all of these but still not ready to divorce me- "just for my son” and her status to society! How to tackle her and HONURABLE INDIAN COURT?
                 ARE WE REALLY MOVING FORWARD???
I filed my divorce petition on September 2009. The first date was 16th Dec 2009. On that day I just got another date.
When we talk about “India’s globalization”, it’s just a MOCKERY of its height. Just think about states (more than 50), where No- Fault divorce exists. But we Indians are different. We are really different! We had a custom of “SATI DAHO PROTHA”, “BOHUBIBHAOO of Brahmins”, “dowry” and so on, which no longer exists (at least in the so called Indian social society). All those practices are no longer permissible by Indian Law. Other states also had some old beliefs like “burning a witch”. The basic difference was, they at least used to admit their belief about the victim as “witch”, but we named her “SOTI” tagging with a very “noble” cause. Whenever we (or someone) stick to something old, we always tag that as “custom” , “tradition” etc. This is human nature. Man always wants to be in his stability and status co. But sometime a surgery is needed to avoid the gangrene- it’s done only when it’s necessary. Is not this the right (if not delayed already) time to address the problem associated with Indian Divorce Act. Please note, I am not the 1st to say this, the law commissions already felt this in 2008 and 2009 (reports enclosed). First one clearly recommended for UNIFORM MARRIAGE LAW (only for registered marriages) and the later one recommended introducing THE IRRETIVABLE BREAK DOWN OF MARRIAGE as a ground for divorce.
That means if my partner cant and me agree on a less affecting thing like divorce (which means to break the tie of marriage), how can we STAY TOGETHER in marriage thereafter. All of us know that, staying together (in any form) requires much more agreement than to stay apart from each other. That means I have to request (or beg) my wife to be free from marriage, just like a captive in a jail. Is not this obstructing my basic fundamental right as a citizen? When there is no such law for a father & son or mother & son relation (although maintenance clause is there), why would be such gross disparity in case of marriage? Is later the more “NOBLE” or “MUST ON” relations than the earlier?
But unfortunately our “ Honourable Judiciary” and “Honourable Ministry” are yet to to make the amendment in the divorce law. Whenever we delay something, it affects. In this scenario its affecting unfortunate people like me. Forget everything, just imagine a scenario in a bedroom of a couple where a Judge is sitting and deciding about the “cruelty” performed or not among the couple!
Now as an effect I have two options –
EITHER to stay in my marriage forgetting about my all own negative feelings,
OR to badmouth my son’s mother in the court to get rid of her. In both cases either my wife or I would be sufferer, not the Honurable Judiciary! Won’t the chances of reconciliation would decrease or diminish just because of amount of tension created between the two during the process, as more dates means more blames or more defense (which is also a part of attack mechanism)? Even the child would be indirectly sufferer for the bitterness between the parents as helpless witness of the whole event.
Breaking up was a hard decision for anyone. I thought over years. But while doing, why we (the process itself) need to be nasty instead of peaceful? If a marriage can be done in a one-month notice period, why the divorce would be delayed for YEARS?
I like to highlight some facts in countries, where there is NO- FAULT divorce: -
·        A decline in the rates of domestic violence (which is obviously concern in India)
·        These laws empower a man or woman in an abusive marriage and make it easier to leave and live separate
·        Means less conflict during divorce, which means less emotional harm to children whose parents, are divorcing
·        Shortens the length of time it takes to obtain a divorce, which, in turn, shortens the amount of time spent in a stressful situation causing physical and mental damage to involved party (as in my case, I am having anti depression drugs as prescribed)
·        Financial settlements are based on need, ability to pay and contribution to the family finances, rather than on fault
·        Helps reduce the heavy caseloads of family courts
At the end we all must remember-
So I humbly pray to consider my case as an Individual, not as an “Ideal Husband”, and grant the divorce without further delay. I am responsible for my job (doing it last 13 years) as well as my family, and will give reasonable maintenance (the only sub clause was recommended as check measure for divorce for Irretrievable Break Down) as decided by the Honourable Court.
Thank you,

Ratan Prakash (Manager (HR))     30 September 2010

Probably you are not able to understand her true feelings about you, Please do not divorce her. Just go to a quiet place and read the book why Mars and Venus Collide , by John Gray. It will give a fresh lease of life to your marital relationships. Then just bring home the DVD of the film 'The Secret'. This is a wonderful film and will tranform your vision totally about yourself and your beloved wife. If will also help you achieve your professional goals too!  I went thru the same thing ,,, But these things helped earn my promotions and applauds in the professional and social life. You can also create a situation in which she can see the movie with you and also read the book.

do get back to me with your feedback.

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