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Raj Kumar Makkad (Adv P & H High Court Chandigarh)     14 June 2010

The Effect of Proposed Amendment in Hindu Marriage Act

The amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act which allows "irretrievable breakdown of marriage" as grounds for divorce is in keeping with the demands of the times. This amendment will not just make divorce easier for unhappy couples but will also prevent either spouse from harassing the other just to delay proceedings.
These amendments were approved by the Union Cabinet based on proposals made by the law ministry. These in turn were based on recommendations by the Law Commission and the Supreme Court. But it is also true that the courts have been somewhat ambivalent on the issue of divorce, given its implications especially in a relatively conservative society like India. There have been several instances of judges ordering couples to try again, which can make the process tortuous and torturous.

 

Of course, caution is understandable as divorce can be used as a weapon in the battle of the s*xes and only fools would rush in where angels fear to tread. But for the most part, dissolution of a marriage is a serious and painful business and this new provision will come as a godsend to couples currently fighting the system in their attempt to separate from each other.

 

The number of divorce applications has been growing rapidly in all urban centres of India. But the Hindu Marriage Act has been locked in history. Although divorce through "mutual consent" is the easiest option currently available in India, it can still be complicated. Other provisions include adultery, cruelty, religious conversion, being unsound of mind, renouncement of the world, not being seen for seven years, having a s*xually communicable disease and strangely enough, having leprosy. It would make sense to revise these provisions from time to time as they may have become archaic, redundant and out of sync with contemporary mores.

 

The trouble for the courts is when both parties are not willing to be separated by divorce. One party can and does use any of the provisions against the other as a means of harassment.

 

"Irretrievable breakdown" however adds additional ballast to "mutual consent" so that warring partners do not have to pretend to try and live out a lie together when what they want is to be apart.

 

Sikhs now want similar provisions to apply to them to bring their marriage laws up to date. Other communities bound by tradition and practice may also follow suit as laws have to keep up with society and its needs. India it seems is on the move in all kinds of unexpected – but vital – ways.

 

 



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 2 Replies

Arup (UNEMPLOYED)     15 June 2010

I BELIEVE THAT DIVORCE IS A PERSONAL LIBERTY AS THE MARRIAGE IS.

NOTHING CAN COMPLE ONE TO RESUME A MATRIMONY, WHICH IS ALREADY LOST.

MEDIA REPORTING THAT - 'IRRITRIVIABLE BREAKDOWN OF MARRIAGE' IS GOING TO BE ADD AS A GROUND FOR DIVORCE.

BUT I AM IN DOUBT OF IT.  BECAUSE THE MAIN FOCUS OF THE NEWS IS ON, - SEC 13B IE MUTUAL DIVORCE, AND NOT IRRITRIVIABLE BREAKDOWN OF MARRIAGE.

HERE I WANT TO DRAW THE KIND ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS THAT, -

SMT SHRUTI SHINDE, WHO IS DAUGHTER OF  THE CABINET MINISTER AND TOP LEADER OF MAHARASHTRA CONGRESS, MR SUSHIL SHINDE IS BEING REFUSED BY THE COURT FOR MUTUAL DIVORCE - AFTER REFUSING MUTUAL DIVORCE BY HER HUSBAND.

ON THE OTHER WAY, AS THE HUSBAND OF SHRUTI, -  REFUSED SHRUTI - FOR MUTUAL DIVORCE, THE COURT REFUSED SHRUTI FOR MUTUAL DIVORCE.

I AM AFFRAID / ANXIOUS THAT TO REACH THE BENIFIT TO THIS PARTY, THE PRESENT AMMENDMENT GOING TO BE MADE, AND NOT FOR A GENERAL CAUSE OF PEOPLE'S HARASMENT ON MATRIMONY. THEREFORE 'IRRITRIVIABLE BREAKDOWN OF MARRIAGE' MAY NOT BE ADD AS A GROUND FOR DIVORCE OR IF ADDED – IT ADD IN SUCH A MANNER THAT COMMON PEOPLE, HAVING NO HIGH APPROACH, CAN NOT GET –

‘JUST’  ON MATTER.

THAT'S WHY the TEXT ON THE MATTER IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSIRY AT THIS JUNCTURE.

Arup (UNEMPLOYED)     15 June 2010

ADV MAKKAD,

PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHEATHER MY DOUBT IS CORRECT OR NOT?


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