Divorce was not a concept that existed in ancient times. Marriage was regarded as a sacred notion to them. Manu believes that a husband and wife cannot be separated and that their marital bond cannot be destroyed. Later, the concept of divorce entered the scene and became entrenched as a custom for ending a marriage.
Marriage can cease if mutual consent is reached, and it should be an unapproved marriage, according to the Arthashastra. Manu, on the other hand, does not believe in the concept of dissolution. The only way to end the marriage, according to Manu, is for one of the partners to die.
The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 included a provision relating to the concept of divorce. Divorce is defined by the Hindu Marriage Act as the dissolution of a marriage. For the sake of society, marriage or married relationships must be protected by all legal safeguards for the reasons stipulated by law. Divorce is only permissible if there is a compelling reason; otherwise, other options are available.
DIVORCE UNDER HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955: There are various requirements in the Hindu Marriage Act governing a legitimate divorce, i.e. when a spouse can get divorced or file an appeal for dissolution of marriage in a court of law. For the sake of society, marriage or married relationships must be protected by all legal safeguards for the reasons stipulated by law. Divorce is only permissible if there is a compelling reason; alternatively, other options are available.
The Hindu Marriage Act is founded on the blame principle, which states that any of the aggrieved spouses (Section 13(1)) can seek divorce in a court of law. Only the wife can approach a court of law and seek the remedy of divorce, according to Section 13(2).
DIVORCE GROUNDS UNDER THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT OF 1955:
1.) Adultery– In many nations, the concept of adultery is not regarded as a crime. However, according to the Hindu Marriage Act, adultery is one of the most important grounds for divorce in a matrimonial case. Adultery is defined as the voluntary and consenting intercourse of a married individual with another person of the opposite sex, whether married or unmarried. Even if the intercourse between the husband and his second wife is under the definition of bigamy, the person is accountable for adultery. The Marriage Laws Amendment Act of 1976 added the notion of adultery into the Hindu Marriage Act.
Essentials of Adultery:- i.) One of the spouses having an affair with another member of the opposite sex, married or unmarried.
ii.) Intercourse should be voluntary and mutually agreed upon.
iii.) The marriage was still going strong at the time of the deed.
iv.) To prove the culpability of another spouse, there must be adequate circumstantial evidence.
2.) Cruelty– The term “cruelty” refers to both mental and physical abuse. When one spouse abuses or injures the other, this is referred to as physical cruelty. However, because the spouse can be emotionally tortured by the other spouse, the idea of mental cruelty was created. Mental cruelty is a lack of kindness that has a negative impact on a person’s health. It is simple to discern the nature of physical cruelty, but it is more difficult to determine the nature of mental cruelty.
3.) Desertion– Desertion is defined as one spouse’s permanent abandonment of the other without any reasonable justification and without his consent. In general, one party’s rejection of the marriage’s commitments.
Essentials:- i.) The other spouse’s permanent abandonment.
ii.) Ignorance of the marriage commitment.
iii.) Without any rationale whatsoever.
iv.) There is no other spouse’s consent.
4.) Conversion- If one of the spouses converts his or her religion to another without the consent of the other spouse, the other spouse may petition the court for a divorce.
5.) Insanity– When a person is insane, they are mentally ill. The following two qualifications apply to insanity as a reason for divorce:
i) The respondent has been incurably insane.
ii) The petitioner cannot reasonably expect to live with the respondent on a continuous or intermittent basis since the respondent has been suffering from a mental disorder of such character and severity.
6.) Leprosy– Leprosy is an infectious disease that affects the skin, mucous membranes, neurological system, and other parts of the body. This sickness is passed down from one person to the next. As a result, it is regarded as a genuine reason for divorce.
7.) Venereal Disease– If the sickness is contagious and can be spread to the other spouse, this can be regarded as a valid reason for divorce under this idea.
8.) Renunciation– It means that if one of the spouses decides to give up the world and follow God’s way, the other spouse can petition the court for a divorce. The party that renounces the world is deemed civilly dead under this view. It is a common Hindu ritual that is recognized as an acceptable reason for divorce.
9.) Presumption of death– If the individual’s family or friends have not heard anything about the person living or dead for seven years, the person is considered to have died. It is a viable cause for divorce, but the burden of proof lies with the party seeking the divorce.
CONCLUSION: The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 contains a number of divorce provisions. According to the Hindu Marriage Act, “divorce is the dissolution of marriage.” Fault Theory, Mutual Consent Concept, and Irretrievable Theory are the three primary theories about divorce. When it comes to divorce in India, the Fault Theory is effective. Marriage can be terminated under this idea if one of the spouses is accountable or liable for a matrimonial offence. A divorce is an option for the innocent spouse.
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