Divorce made easy

NEW DELHI: Sparring couples may now have a way out of their misery without having to go through the blame game. The Cabinet on Thursday is expected to consider a proposal to amend matrimonial laws for making “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” a ground for divorce.

The proposal moved by law ministry suggests amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and Special Marriage Act 1954 to add the new basis for granting divorce.

Breakdown of marriage is currently not a ground for divorce despite several Supreme Court verdicts favouring it and the Law Commission recommending that it be included in the provision of the law.

The amendment will enable couples to get divorce if one of them refuses to live with the other and will not work towards reconciliation, and the court is convinced that there is no hope of the two leading a normal matrimonial life.

The legal fraternity seems to be split over the proposed amendment. Some experts feel that growing individuality in society has contributed to an increasing number of cases ending at the divorce court with both parties dishing out dirty laundry. The amendment would make parting of ways less bitter.

But several other experts warned of pitfalls in the proposed law. Eminent lawyer Kamini Jaiswal felt the amendment may not be a “bad idea” for urban women wanting to opt out of a relationship, but it may adversely impact rural women who have few options. “I feel there should be a comprehensive look at all laws relating to maintenance and alimony instead of a piecemeal look at one amendment,” she added.

Kirti Singh, former Law Commission member described the amendment as “disastrous” if it came without adequate safeguards. “The amendment should only be brought when women are given adequate share in household assets and maintenance. Most women get a pittance from the courts and most do not want to get out of a marriage only because there is nothing to sustain them outside it,” she said, adding that this would only provide relief to men.

According to the existing Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, divorce can be granted on three grounds — matrimonial fault, divorce by mutual consent and frustration due to specified circumstances.

According to the first ground, marriage can be dissolved when either spouse has committed a matrimonial offence. Under this provision, it is necessary to have a guilty and an innocent party in matrimonial dispute and only the innocent party can seek divorce.

Divorce on mutual consent is based on the fact that since two persons can marry by their free will, they should also be allowed to move out of their relationship if both agree to do so.

Under “frustration by reason of specified circumstances” , divorce can be granted to a person whose spouse has met with “civil death” — disappeared without a trace for at least seven years — or renounced the world.

The law commission in its report points out that the ground of matrimonial fault is not always sufficient for divorce and may cause injustice in disputes where the marriage cannot work although none of the parties is at fault, or the fault is of such a nature that the parties to the marriage do not want to reveal it.

The report suggests that in such circumstances it will be in the interest of justice to dissolve the marriage through the proposed amendment.

3 thoughts on “Divorce made easy

  1. will this ground apply only for mutual consent cases or for contested applications as well..can anyone clarify the above?

  2. Absolutely dangerous for society and children and women will be worst affected. It is absolutly necessary for the law to provide equitable financial position to the woman and child to safeguard their interests. They should be entitled to equitable income rather than some paltry alimony. This should be even if the woman is working because most often the woman is earning much less than the man and for no fault of her own is put in a position where she can no longer maintain the lifestyle she should be rightfully entitled and while her life ahead is totally gone whereas the man not only gets away without responsibility he starts afresh without any liabilities.

  3. It is really a very happy news for those couples who are struggling for divorce since years.American law states that-when one person is not happy with the marriage, how can other person be? Of course, it is true. maximum percentage of people who are going for divorce are mainly from urban area. Rural illiterate women are absolutely unaware of all these laws like divorce,dowry harassment, domestic violence. All these laws are mostly misused by well literate working class women from urban areas as a weapon against husband and his family. Hence in a recent survey it has come to know that 94% of Dowry harassment cases are FAKE. But innocent men are commiting suicide because of the torture given by women and these idiotic law supporting them.Hence the suicidal ratio among married indivuduals is 64 men: 36 women. I feel pity for those rural, illeterate,socially backward women who are really going through agony because they are really unaware of all these law.Most women dont wanna give divorce because they would have been satisfied with dowry and domestic violence case and even child will be with them only leaving husband alone leading to depression. on top of it stupid law is unilateral supporting only women to give maintenance as well as property also. In the present world women are earning equally or more than men. Moreover government has given 50% reservation to women.why all these cruel laws only against men?? how many women are into adulty, torturing husband & his family to fulfill their needs. Best example i can give is one of my friend’s story whose wife is having illicit relation. she is highly educated, very well earning knows law very well. she asks him directly ” i am having physical relation with your friend. what can you do? if you try to be smart, i will put dowry harassment and domestic violence case against your family” so pleas tell me what that guy has to do? To apply for divorce, how can he prove adultry? He has hold video camera in his friends bedroom? or he should commit suicide? or he should kill her?? Our great Indian Law is supporting such females also. At the same time Law says- LET 100 ACCUSED ESCAPE BUT NOT EVEN 1 INNOCENT PERSON SHOULD BE PUNISHED.

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