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Govt makes Hindu divorce law more flexible

Irretrievable breakdown of marriage is now a reason enough for seeking divorce.



New Delhi: Seeking a divorce in case
marriage goes bad will now become easier with the government
today approving a bill that seeks to amend two Acts governing
marriages.

The amendment makes it possible for anyone to seek
divorce by proving that there has been "irretrievable
breakdown of marriage" and escape the delays and "harassment"
caused because of one party not turning up in courts.

The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010 was approved by
the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Bill provides for amendment of the Hindu Marriage Act
1955 and the Special Marriage Act 1954, Information and
Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters.

The Bill would provide safeguards to parties to marriage
who file petition for grant of divorce by consent from the
"harassment" in court if any of the party does not come to the
court or wilfully avoids the court to keep the divorce
proceedings inconclusive, she said.

The amendment bill has been prepared on the
recommendations of the Law Commission as well as the Supreme
Court that "irretrievable breakdown of marriage" should be
incorporated as another ground for grant of divorce.

The new clause will be in addition to the existing
grounds for divorce 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.

However, Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act and
Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act provide for divorce by
mutual consent as a ground for presenting a petition for
dissolution of marriage, she said.

These sections provide that a petition for dissolution of
marriage by mutual consent, if not withdrawn before six months
after its presentation or not later than 18 months, then, the
court may, on being satisfied after making inquiry, grant
decree of divorce by mutual consent.

It has been observed that the parties who have filed
petition for mutual consent suffer in case one of the parties
abstain himself or herself from court proceedings and keeps
the divorce proceedings inconclusive, causing considerable
hardship to the party in dire need or divorce, Soni added.

PTI

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