Indian Supreme Court Says Hindu Divorce Law Breaks Homes

by Gopalan on  June 18, 2008 at 11:20 AM Lifestyle News
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 Indian Supreme Court Says Hindu Divorce Law Breaks Homes
Indian Supreme Court has slammed the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA), saying its divorce provisions are only breaking homes.

The court commented sarcastically Tuesday that nowadays, divorce petitions were being prepared even before the nuptial knot had been tied.

"When a marriage takes place, the respective spouses keep a divorce petition ready, anticipating a breakdown," Justices Arijit Pasayat and GS Singhvi said, hearing a case where a couple is fighting for the custody of their 11-year-old son.

'Ego should get dissolved for the sake of the child,' the bench remarked even as the separated parents tried to air their views.

The apex court told the separated couple that it was more concerned about the welfare of the child, rather than the recrimination between the couple.

'Ultimately the child suffers. If it is a girl, the trauma is more, particularly at the time of the marriage of such children,' Justice Pasayat, speaking for the bench observed.

The court was commenting on provisions like insanity and leprosy, which are grounds for divorce under the HMA. "Our grandparents also suffered from mental illness. But spouses never parted company... The effort was to save the home," Justice Pasayat said.

The concept of divorce has been traditionally alien to Hindu marriage. But in 1955, parliament enacted the HMA, allowing divorce. Either spouse may seek dissolution of marriage on grounds of infidelity, cruelty, desertion and conversion, or if the other party has renounced the world, suffers from a mental illness, incurable leprosy or communicable venereal disease, Hindustan Times reports.

Divorce is allowed by mutual consent, or if a spouse has been thought to be dead for seven years.

While the blunt-speaking Pasayat is known for his relatively conservative views, Law Commission member Tahir Mahmood seemed to agree with the court's views.

"The law doesn't conform to the ethos of Hindus. We don't expect Hindu men or women to charge their spouses with cruelty and seek divorce. Also, the law has certain shortcomings... like, the word cruelty has not been defined," he said.

Liberal judicial interpretations of the HMA is contributing to increasing divorces in India, Mahmood asserted.

Source: Medindia

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This kind of situation come across some people's life to over come form this i must suggest every one that they should have proper divorce advice before and after the divorce. I really appreciate your effort.


I would like to know about the law. Is this true that one cant take dowry back while filing for divorce after 7 yrs of separation? I would like to know that while filing for divorce can I also claim for the dowry. I have proof regarding this (proof for about 80%)in the form of cheques and DD. They harassed me for divorce and kept separate from my husband. My husband also harassed me. He send me to my parents house about 7 yrs ago and visited once in an year. Now from past 3 yrs he stopped coming. But never tried to settle with me. So I want to take divorce. So I would like to know can I get my dowry back too. One of the lawyer told that as I am separate for more than 4 yrs. I cant claim for dowry back.
Is this the law that one cant take dowry back while filing for divorce after 7 yrs. of separation?
Kindly guide me in this respect.
Thank you!


Could u pls refer to me one such case where a person was granted divorce on the grounds of leprosy.

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