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INDIAN BARE ACTS

THE MARRIAGE LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2010

THE MARRIAGE LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2010

தமிழ்: காப்புக்கட்டல்

தமிழ்: காப்புக்கட்டல் (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A
BILL
further to amend the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-first Year of the Republic of India as follows:—
CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY
1. (1) This Act may be called the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 2010.
(2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification
in the Official Gazette, appoint.
CHAPTER II
AMENDMENTS TO THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955
2. In the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (hereafter in this Chapter referred to as the Hindu
Marriage Act), in section 13B, in sub-section (2), for the words, brackets and figure “On the
motion of both the parties made not 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date, if the petition is not withdrawn in the meantime”, the words, brackets and figure “Upon
receipt of a petition under sub-section (1)” shall be substituted.
Short title and
c omme n c e -
m e n t .
Amendment
of section
1 3 B .
25 of 1955.
Bill No. XLI of 2010
AS INTRODUCED IN THE RAJYA SABHA 04 Auguest, 2010
5
1 02
3. After section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, the following sections shall be
inserted, namely:—
‘13C (1) A petition for the dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce may be
presented to the district court by either party to a marriage [whether solemnized before
or after the commencement of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 2010], on the
ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
(2) The court hearing a petition referred to in sub-section (1) shall not hold the
marriage to have broken down irretrievably unless it is satisfied that the parties to the
marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of not less than three years
immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.
(3) If the court is satisfied, on the evidence, as to the fact mentioned in subsection (2), then, unless it is satisfied on all the evidence that the marriage has not
broken down irretrievably, it shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, grant a decree
of divorce.
(4) In considering, for the purpose of sub-section (2), whether the period for
which the parties to a marriage have lived apart has been continuous, no account shall
be taken of any one period (not exceeding three months’ in all) during which the parties
resumed living with each other, but no other period during which the parties lived with
each other shall count as part of the period for which the parties to the marriage lived
apart.
(5) For the purposes of sub-sections (2) and (4), a husband and wife shall be
treated as living apart unless they are living with each other in the same household,
and reference in this section to the parties to a marriage living with each other shall be
construed as reference to their living with each other in the same household.
13D. (1) Where the wife is the respondent to a petition for the dissolution of
marriage by a decree of divorce under section 13C, she may oppose the grant of a
decree on the ground that the dissolution of the marriage will result in grave financial
hardship to her and that it would in all the circumstances be wrong to dissolve the
marriage.
(2) Where the grant of a decree is opposed by virtue of this section, then,—
(a) if the court finds that the petitioner is entitled to rely on the ground set
out in section 13C; and
(b) if, apart from this section, the court would grant a decree on the petition,
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.
13E. The court shall not pass a decree of divorce under section 13C unless the
court is satisfied that adequate provision for the maintenance of children born out of
the marriage has been made consistently with the financial capacity of the parties to
the marriage.
Explanation.— In this section, the expression “children” means—
(a) minor children;
(b) unmarried or widowed daughters who have not the financial resources
to support themselves; and
Insertion of
new sections
13C, 13D and
1 3 E .
Divorce on
ground of
irretrievable
breakdown of
marriage.
Wife’s right to
o p p o s e
pe t i t ion on
ground of
hardship.
Restriction on
decree for
divorce
affecting
children.3
(c) children who, because of special condition of their physical or mental
health, need looking after and do not have the financial resources to support
themselves.’.
4. In section 21A of the Hindu Marriage Act, in sub-section (1), after the word and
figures “section 13”, at both the places where they occur, the words, figures and letter “or
section 13C” shall be inserted.
5. In section 23 of the Hindu Marriage Act, in sub-section (1), in clause (a), after the
word and figure “section 5”, the words, figures and letter “or in cases where the petition is
presented under section 13C” shall be inserted.
CHAPTER III
AMENDMENTS TO THE SPECIAL MARRIAGE ACT, 1954
6. In the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (hereafter in this Chapter referred to as the Special
Marriage Act), in section 28, in sub-section (2), for the words, brackets and figure “On the
motion of both the parties made not 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 words, brackets and figure “Upon
receipt of a petition under sub-section (1)” shall be substituted.
7. After section 28 of the Special Marriage Act, the following sections shall be inserted,
namely:—
‘28A. (1) A petition for the dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce may be
presented to the district court by either party to a marriage [whether solemnized before
or after the commencement of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 2010] on the
ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
(2) The court hearing a petition referred to in sub-section (1) shall not hold the
marriage to have broken down irretrievably unless it is satisfied that the parties to the
marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of not less than three years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.
(3) If the court is satisfied, on the evidence, as to the fact mentioned in subsection (2), then, unless it is satisfied on all the evidence that the marriage has not
broken down irretrievably, it shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, grant a decree
of divorce.
(4) In considering, for the purpose of sub-section (2), whether the period for
which the parties to a marriage have lived apart has been continuous, no account shall
be taken of any one period (not exceeding three months in all) during which the parties
resumed living with each other, but no other period during which the parties lived with each
other shall count as part of the period for which the parties to the marriage lived apart.
(5) For the purposes of sub-sections (2) and (4), a husband and wife shall be
treated as living apart unless they are living with each other in the same household,
and reference in this section to the parties to a marriage living with each other shall be
construed as reference to their living with each other in the same household.
28B. (1) Where the wife is the respondent to a petition for the dissolution of
marriage by a decree of divorce under section 28A, she may oppose the grant of a
decree on the ground that the dissolution of the marriage will result in grave financial
hardship to her and that it would, in all the circumstances, be wrong to dissolve the
marriage.
(2) Where the grant of a decree is opposed by virtue of this section, then,—
(a) if the court finds that the petitioner is entitled to rely on the ground set
out in section 28A; and
Amendment
of section
2 1 A .
Amendment
of section 23.
43 of 1954. Amendment
of section 28.
Insertion of
new sections
28A, 28B and
2 8 C .
Divorce on
ground of
irretrievable
breakdown of
marriage.
Wife’s right to
o p p o s e
pe t i t ion on
ground of
hardship.4
(b) if apart from this section the court would grant a decree on the petition,
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.
28C. The court shall not pass a decree of divorce under section 28A unless the
court is satisfied that adequate provision for the maintenance of children born out of
the marriage has been made consistently with the financial capacity of the parties to
the marriage.
Explanation.— In this section, the expression “children” means—
(a) minor children;
(b) unmarried or widowed daughters who have not the financial
resources to support themselves; and
(c) children who, because of special condition of their physical or
mental health, need looking after and do not have the financial resources
to support themselves.’.
8. In section 40A of the Special Marriage Act, in sub-section (1), after the word and
figures “section 27”, at both the places where they occur, the words, figures and letter “or
section 28A” shall be inserted.
Restriction on
decree for
divorce
affecting
children.
Amendment
of section
4 0 A .STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 was enacted on the 18th May, 1955 to amend and codify
the law relating to marriage among Hindus. Similarly, the Special Marriage Act, 1954 was
enacted on the 9
th
October, 1954 to provide a special form of marriage in certain cases, for the
registration of such and certain other marriages and for divorce. The provisions of the said
Acts have proved to be inadequate to deal with the issue where there has been irretrievable
breakdown of marriage and therefore a need has been felt for certain amendments therein.
2. In view of the demand from various quarters for making irretrievable breakdown of
marriage as a ground for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the Central
Government referred the matter to the Law Commission of India for its consideration. The
Law Commission in its 71
st
Report titled “The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 — Irretrievable
Breakdown of Marriage as a Ground of Divorce” submitted in April, 1978 had examined the
issue in detail and recommended amendments to the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 to make
irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a new ground for granting a decreee of divorce among
the Hindus. Accordingly, a Bill, namely, the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 1981, further to
amend the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954, was introduced in
Lok Sabha on the 27th February, 1981. However, before the Bill could be considered and
passed by Lok Sabha, the Seventh Lok Sabha was dissolved on 31st December, 1984, and
hence the Bill lapsed.
3. Subsequently, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Ms. Jorden Diengdeh vs. S.S. Chopra
(AIR 1985 SC 935) had pointed out the necessity to introduce irretrievable breakdown of
marriage and mutual cosent as grounds for grant of divorce in all cases. Similarly in Naveen
Kohli vs. Neelu Kohli (AIR 2006 SC 1675), the Hon’ble Supreme Court recomended to the
Union of India to seriously consider bringing an amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
to incorporate irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for divorce.
4. Further, the 18
th
Law Commission of India suo motu took up the mater and in its 217
th
Report titled ‘Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage —Another Ground for Divorce’ presented
to the Government in March, 2009 recommended that ‘Irretrievable breakdown of marriage’
should be incorporated as another ground for grant of a decree of divorce under the aforesaid Acts.
5. Having regard to the recommendations of the Law Commission of India and the
observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court as aforesaid and the demand from various
quarters, it is proposed to amend the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act,
1954 so as to provide for irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground of divroce
thereunder subject to certain safeguards to the wife and affected children.
6. At present, a petition for grant of a decreee of divorce on the ground of mutual
consent could be presented by both the parties to the marriage together before the court
under sub-section (1) of section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and similarly under
sub-section (1) of section 28 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Under sub-section (2) of
section 13B and that of section 28 respectively, the parties have to move a motion jointly not
earlier than six months after the date of presentation of the petition referred in sub-section (1)
and not later than eighteen months after the said date for the said purpose. It has been
observed that in several cases one of the parties do not turn up for filing the motion jointly
with the other party under sub-section (2) of section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or
under sub-section (2) of section 28 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, as the case may be,
leading the party desirous of obtaining a decree of divorce hapless and remediless. In order
to mitigate such hardships and to allow divorce in cases of complete failure of such
marriages, it is proposed to amend sub-section (2) of section 13B of the Hindu Marriage
56
Act, 1955 and sub-section (2) of section 28 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, respectively,
by doing away with the aforesaid condition of moving motion subsequently.
7. In case the wife happens to be the respondent in respect of a petition for grant of a
decree of divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage under the proposed
new section 13C of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or under the proposed new section 28A of
the Special Marriage Act, 1954, as the case may be, the wife is entitled to oppose the grant of
a decree of divorce on the ground that a dissolution of the marriage will result in grave
financial hardship to her. Similarly, provision has been made to restrict grant of a decree of
divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage if the court is satisfied that
adequate provision for the maintence of children born out of the marriage has not been made
consistently with the financial capacity of the parties to the marriage.
8. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objects.
NEW DELHI; M. VEERAPPA MOILY.
The 13th July, 2010.ANNEXURE
EXTRACTS FROM THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955
( 25 OF 1955)
* * * * *
13B. (1) * * * * *
(2) On the motion of both the parties made not 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
of divorce declaring the marriage to be dissolved with effect from the date of the decree.
* * * * *
21A. (1) Where—
(a) a petition under this Act has been presented to a district court having
jurisdiction by a party to a marriage praying for a decree for judicial separation under
section 10 or for a decree of divorce under section 13, and
(b) another petition under this Act has been presented thereafter by the other
party to the marriage praying for a decree for judicial separation under section 10 or for
a decree of divorce under section 13 on any ground, whether in the same district court
or in a different district court, in the same State or in a different State,
the petitions shall be dealt with as specified in sub-section (2).
* * * * *
23. (1) In any proceeding under this Act, whether defended or not, if the court is
satisfied that—
(a) any of the grounds for granting relief exists and the petitioner except in
cases where the relief is sought by him on the ground specified in sub-clause (a),
sub-clause (b) or sub-clause (c) of clause (ii) of section 5 is not in any way taking
advantage of his or her own wrong or disability for the purpose of such relief, and
* * * * *
then, and in such a case, but not otherwise, the court shall decree such relief accordingly.
* * * * *
EXTRACTS FROM THE SPECIAL MARRIAGE ACT, 1954
( 43 OF 1954)
* * * * *
28. (1) * * * * *
(2) On the motion of both the parties made not 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 district court
shall, on being satisfied, after hearing the parties and after making such inquiry as it thinks
fit, that a marriage has been solemnized under this Act, and that the averments in the petition
Divorce by
mutual
c o n s e n t .
Power to
t r ans f e r
petitions in
certain cases.
Decree in
proceedings.
Divorce by
mutual
c o n s e n t .
78
are true, pass a decree declaring the marriage to be dissolved with effect from the date of the
decree.
* * * * *
40A. (1) Where—
(a) a petition under this Act has been presented to the district court having
jurisdiction by a party to the marriage praying for a decree for judicial separation under
section 23 or for a decree of divorce under section 27, and
(b) another petition under this Act has been presented thereafter by the other
party to the marriage praying for decree for judicial separation under section 23, or for
decree of divorce under section 27 on any ground whether in the same district court or
in a different district court, in the same State or in a different State,
the petition shall be dealt with as specified in sub-section (2).
* * * * *
Power to
t r ans f e r
petitions in
certain cases.RAJYA SABHA
A
BILL
further to amend the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
————
(Shri M. Veerappa Moily, Ministerj of Law and Justice )
GMGIPMRND—3365RS(S4)—30-07-2010.

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