Marriage Laws Amendment Bill 2010 approved by Union Cabinet

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Marriage Laws Amendment Bill 2010 Approved by Cabinet for Further Amending the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of a new Bill dubbed the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 in a bid to further amend the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 as well as the Special Marriage Act, 1954. The new Bill, according to legislators, will make necessary provisions for considering irreversible breakdown of marriage as a legit ground for divorce.

Apparently, the Cabinet unanimously agreed that the Bill is a necessary step forward to safeguard the interest of those who file for divorce but the other party can not come to the court or avoids the judicial process altogether for leaving the divorce proceedings inconclusive.

Prior to this, a multitude of factors were laid down section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for dissolution of a marriage by decree of divorce. Some of these grounds included: cruelty, adultery, conversion to some other religion, advanced or incurable form of leprosy, desertion, venereal disease that can be communicable, unsoundness of mind, not heard as being alive for seven years or more and renouncement of the world.

Similar grounds were also laid down in the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

“The court shall consider all the circumstances, including the conduct of the parties to the marriage and the interests of those parties and of any children or other persons concerned, and if, the court is of the opinion that the dissolution of the marriage shall result in grave financial hardship to the respondent and that it would, in all the circumstances, be wrong to dissolve the marriage, it shall dismiss the petition, or in an appropriate case stay the proceedings until arrangements have been made to its satisfaction to eliminate the hardship,” reads the new Bill (as passed by the Rajya Sabha).

It is worth mentioning here that such legal proposition has been strongly recommended by the Law Commission of India in the 217th report on “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage – Another Ground for Divorce”. Apart from that, the Supreme Court of India also categorically observed as well as recommended to consider irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a legit ground for divorce.