Grounds for Divorce as per Hindu Marriage Act

By | February 8, 2016

Divorce

As per Section – 13, Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

13. (1) Any marriage solemnized, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party—

4[(i) has, after the solemnization of the marriage had voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse; or

(ia) has, after the solemnization of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty; or

(ib) has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition; or]

(ii) has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion ; or

1[(iii) has been incurably of unsound mind, or has suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.

Explanation : In this clause, —

(a) the expression “mental disorder” means mental illness, arrested or incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder or any other disorder or disability of mind and include schizophrenia;

(b) the expression “psychopathic disorder” means a persistent disorder or disability of mind (whether or not including sub-normality of intelligence) which results in abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the other party and whether or not it requires or is susceptible to medical treatment; or]

(iv) has been suffering from a virulent and incurable form of leprosy 2[***] ; or

(v) has been suffering from veneral disease in a communicable form 2[***]; or

(vi) has renounced the world by entering any religious order; or

(vii) has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of it, had that party been alive;

3[Explanation : In this sub-section, the expression “desertion” means the desertion of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage without reasonable cause and without the consent or against the wish of such party, and includes the willful neglect of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage, and its grammatical variations and cognate expression shall be construed accordingly.]

(1A) Either party to a marriage, whether solemnized before or after the commencement of this Act, may also present a petition for the dissolution of the marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground —

(i) that there has been no resumption of cohabitation as between the parties to the marriage for a period of 5[one year] or upwards after the passing of a decree for judicial separation in a proceeding to which they were parties; or

(ii) that there has been no restitution of conjugal rights as between the parties to the marriage for a period of 6[one year] or upward after the passing of a decree of restitution of conjugal rights in a proceeding to which they were parties.

(2) A wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of her marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground, —

(i) in the case of any marriage solemnized before the commencement of this Act, that the husband had married again before the commencement or that any other wife of the husband married before such commencement was alive at the time of the solemnization of the marriage of the petitioner:

Provided that in either case the other wife is alive at the time of the presentation of the petition; or

(ii) that the husband has, since the solemnization of the marriage, been guilty of rape, sodomy or 7[bestiality; or]

8[(iii) that in a suit under section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (78 of 1956), or in a proceeding under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, (Act 2 of 1974) or under corresponding Section 488 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898), a decree or order, as the case may be, has been passed against the husband awarding maintenance to the wife notwithstanding that she was living apart and that since the passing of such decree or order, cohabitation between the parties has not been resumed for one year or upwards ;

(iv) that her marriage (whether consummated or not) was solemnized before she attained the age of fifteen years and she has repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of eighteen years.

Explanation : This clause applies whether the marriage was solemnized before or after the commencement of the Marriage Law (Amendment) Act, 1976 (68 of 1976)].


 

1. Substituted by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976.

2. Words“, for a period of not less than three years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition”, omitted by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976.

3. Inserted by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976.

4. Substituted by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976.

5. Substituted for “two years” by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976.

6. Substituted for “two years” by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976.

7.Substituted for “bestiality” by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976.

8.Sections 13A and 13B inserted by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976.


 

Alternate relief in divorce proceedings (section 13A )

If any proceeding under this Act, on a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce, except in so far as the petition is founded on the grounds mentioned in clauses (ii), (vi) and (vii) of sub-section (1) of section 13, the court may, if it considers it just so to do having regard to the circumstances of the case, pass instead a decree for judicial separation.

Divorce by mutual consent.(section 13B)

 (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce may be presented to the District Court by both the parties to a marriage together, whether such marriage was solemnized before or after the commencement of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976 (68 of 1976), on the ground that they have been living separately for a period of one year or more, that they have not been able to live together and that they have mutually agreed that the marriage should be dissolved.

(2) On the motion of both the parties made earlier than six months after the date of the presentation of the petition referred to in sub-section (1) and not later than eighteen months after the said date, if the petition is not withdrawn in the meantime, the Court shall, on being satisfied, after hearing the parties and after making such inquiry as it thinks fit, that a marriage has been solemnized and that the averments in the petition are true, pass a decree ofdivorce declaring the marriage to be dissolved with effect from the date of the decree.]

Divorced persons when may marry again. (section 15) 

When a marriage has been dissolved by a decree of divorce and either there is no right of appeal against the decree or, if there is such a right of appeal, the time for appealing has expired without an appeal having been presented, or an appeal has been presented but has been dismissed, it shall be lawful for either party to the marriage to marry again.

No petition for divorce to be presented within one year of marriage. (section 14 )

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, it shall not be competent for any Court to entertain any petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce, 1[unless at the date of the presentation of the petition one year has elapsed] since the date of the marriage:

Provided that the court may, upon application made to it in accordance with such rules as may be made by the High Court in that behalf, allow a petition to be presented before 2[one year has] elapsed since the date of the marriage on the ground that the case is one of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or of exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent, but, if it appears to the court at the hearing of the petition that petitioner obtained leave to present the petition by any mis-representation or concealment of the nature of the case, the court may, if it pronounces a decree, do so subject to the condition that the decree shall not have effect until after the expiry of2a[one year] from the date of the marriage or may dismiss the petition without prejudice to any petition which may be brought after the expiration of the said 2a[one year] upon the same or substantially the same facts as those alleged in support of the petition so dismissed.

(2) In disposing of any application under this section for leave to present a petition for divorce before the expiration of 2a[one year] from the date of the marriage, the court shall have regard to the interests of any children of the marriage and to the question whether there is a reasonable probability of a reconciliation between the parties before the expiration of the said 2a[one year].


  1. Substituted for “unless at the date of the presentation of the petition three years have elapsed” by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976.
  2. Substituted for “three years have” by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976.

2a. Substituted for “three years” by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976.


Relief for respondent in divorce and other proceedings. (section 23A)

In any proceedings for divorce or judicial separation or restitution of conjugal rights, the respondent may not only oppose the relief sought on the ground of petitioner’s adultery, cruelty or desertion, but also make a counter-claim for any relief under this Act on that ground; and if the petitioner’s adultery, cruelty or desertion is proved, the Court may give to the respondent any relief under this Act to which he or she would have been entitled if he or she had presented a petition seeking such relief on that ground.]


  1. Inserted by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976.

 

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