The definition of marriage in a legal sense that can be generally acceptable by
everyone shall be:
the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as
husband and wife in a legal, consensual and contractual relationship recognized, sanctionable and dissolvable only by the law. The specific provisions of
marriage and divorce vary across the world, all the countries have separate laws
that deal with such affairs and in this research paper we will be studying the
irretrievable breakdown of marriage in two countries that are India and UK.
Both the countries have separate laws that deal with marital affairs as well as
divorce for example in India two people can get married under special marriage
act, Hindu marriage act etc. If they match the requirements as said by the law.
In the same way even, UK also has various marriage acts under which people can
marry if they match the requirements. In the same way there are provisions for
divorces also that we are going to discuss in detail specially emphasising upon
the irretrievable breakdown of marriages.
In India divorces can be granted under various, before 1955 there was no such
act under which divorce can be granted because it was a belief in Hinduism that
a married couple is a match made in heaven and must not be separated, however
after 1955 a concept of divorce was added in the Hindu marriage act that could
also be applied to marriages existing before its enactment.
Such a provision
regarding divorce is also mentioned in the section 27 of the special marriage
act 1955. Both these acts provide the provision of divorce to people who have
been married under the same act.
Irretrievable breakdown of marriage can be defined as a situation in which
either or both the parties wishes to no longer live together and the
relationship is damage to a point that it cannot be repaired and continuing the
marriage will only further cause loss and damage to the parties.
In both the countries, India and UK, provisions of irretrievable breakdown of
marriage exist they may or may not be mentioned exclusively but they have been
applied. It is necessary to focus on the definition of irretrievable breakdown
of marriage because of the provisions in UK as in UK divorce can be granted
under irretrievable breakdown but in India it cannot be however in UK we have
some conditions that we must fulfil in order to prove the irretrievable
breakdown while in India there are some conditions given under the various
marriage acts that must be fulfilled that does not include irretrievable
breakdown as one but they are somewhat similar to the conditions in the UK
marriage act that are needed to prove the irretrievable breakdown of the
marriage, however irretrievable breakdown is not explicitly a ground for divorce
The laws dealing with divorce in India are mentioned under the marriage acts.
Under the Hindu marriage act 1955 section 13 it is mentioned that the party can
approach a competent court that has a jurisdiction to entertain such petitions
and apply for divorce that means a legal separation of two persons of the
opposite sex who desire to respect and honour each other.
The same provision
also lies under the section 27 of the special marriage act and they both are not
exactly same but do have a lot of similarities and mention the grounds for
divorce. It is to be noted that out of all the grounds of divorce mentioned
under these sections irretrievable breakdown of marriage is not a valid ground
The law commission of India and the judiciary have put forwards the demand to
the legislature to add the provision of irretrievable breakdown of marriage in
the constitution since they have realised that it is the need of the hour as
such provisions must be there in all the countries. Even though irretrievable
breakdown of marriage is not mentioned in the marriage acts in India it has been
enforced in the country and in this research paper we shall focus upon it by
understanding the case of Saroj Rani vs Sudarshan Kumar Chadha
We will be emphasising upon the facts of the case in the later part of the research paper
but in this case a suit for divorce reached the Supreme Court of India where the
court stated that the marriage has broken down and it is evident and the parties
can no longer live together as husband wife and if the situation is such then it
is better to close the chapter and enforced the irretrievable breakdown of
marriage under article 142 of the constitution of India.
Article 142 of the Indian constitution gives the supreme court the power to pass
any order or decree that shall be considered necessary in order to deliver
justice in any matter or in any case that lies pending before it. Even though in
India Irretrievable breakdown of marriage is not a ground for divorce, such
cases establish a weak link in it as in such cases the supreme court can enforce
irretrievable breakdown of marriage even without the consent of either of the
spouses. We shall be discussing more such cases in the later part of the
Talking about UK, irretrievable breakdown of marriage is the only thing that
must be proved in court in order for a divorce to be granted under the
matrimonial causes act 1973. According the act, a petition for divorce can be
filed to court by either of the parties on the ground that the marriage has
broken down irretrievably.
In order to prove that the marriage has broken
down irretrievably the petitioner has to prove one or more of the following
conditions. The respondent has been involved in committing and because of it the
petitioner cannot be comfortable living together anymore or the respondent has
been behaving in a way that makes the petitioner uncomfortable or if the
respondent has deserted the petitioned for 2 years after the presentation of the
petition or if the parties have lived apart for a period of 5 years. Hence, we
can say in order to show a marriage as irretrievable and unworkable in UK one
must prove adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion for 2 years or a
contested divorce for 5 years.
Doctrinal method of research was used in this research paper as all the
information mentioned in this is collected from various statutes, act and laws
that were mentioned in the various books. Also comparative methodology is
applied in order to compare the conditions in both the countries that are India
and UK because it is also important to get aware of the culture of the countries
if we are going to study about the laws of divorce.
- Is irretrievable breakdown of marriage a ground of divorce in India
- What is meant by an irretrievable breakdown of marriage in UK?
- How can article 142 of the Indian Constitution be applied in order to
grant an irretrievable breakdown of marriage?
Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage: a Ground for Divorce by Kusum:
- Can divorce be enforced in India on the grounds that the marriage is
- To compare the culture of India and UK to understand the laws regarding
- To study the conditions that must be fulfilled in order to grant a
divorce in India and UK
- To understand the article 142 of the Indian constitution and its
application in irretrievable breakdown through case laws.
a an article published in the journal that starts with talking about marriages
in India stating that marriages are made in heaven but the modern day marriages
are vulnerable and complex and discussed upon the judicial and legislative
opinion of India with regard to the matrimonial laws.
The article talks about
the days when under the Hindu law divorces were unknown and compares the
situation with the modern day scenario and how the system seeks to grant divorce
on the basis of irretrievable breakdown of marriage. Recommendations in the
seventy first report prepared in April 1978 regarding the irretrievable
breakdown have also been mentioned and in the later half the section 13 of the
Hindu marriage act has been emphasised upon.
Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage as an Additional Ground for Divorce by Jaya
This journal article written by Jaya V.S. starts off by telling the
readers how marriage is the core reason why civilization can exist and further
on goes talking about the provisions of divorce under the section 13 of the
Hindu marriage act and how the legislation has worked to make the provisions of
divorce but still has not added any clause under section 13 that speaks of
irretrievable breakdown of marriage.
The article talks about the importance of
the institution of marriage and the consequences if the understanding is missing
stating that such marriages need to be dissolved and has discussed some theories
such as guilt theory and consent theory.
Adultery and Intolerability by M.D.A. Freeman:
This article named Adultery and Intolerability in the journal The modern Law review
talks about how adultery
is responsible for making a marriage irretrievable because after the respondent
has committed adultery, the respondent may find it hard to live with the
respondent and has focussed on some case laws.
Irretrievable breakdown of marriage by Vidisha:
This research paper talks about
the history of Hindu law talking about the various cultural practices that were
followed that before the year 1955 focusing upon the idea of matches made in
heaven because of which it was believed that a married couple has to stay
together forever and because of this the concept of divorce was not much known
before the Hindu marriage act got amended in 1955.
The later half of the
research paper talks about the various amendments that's have been introduces to
the marriage and divorce laws also telling that the supreme court however grant
a divorce declaring the marriage to be irretrievably broken down under article
142 of the Indian constitution in order to deliver justice.
An Analysis of Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage as a Ground for Divorce by
This is a research paper that grounds for divorce and provides
an analysis of the various laws related to marriage also giving examples by
talking about their application by mentioning various case laws. The first half
of the research paper talks about talks about the various laws and their
application while the later half talks about the changes that can be brought in
the Hindu marriage act.
Result And Discussion
- Irretrievable breakdown of marriage
Irretrievable breakdown of marriage means a marriage that has broken down to a
point that it is almost irreparable and no matter whatever steps are taken, even
after counselling and guidance both the spouse cannot live together and
continuing the marriage will only cause further damage to them and it is
beneficial to grant divorce under such circumstances.
- Notions in Hinduism regarding marriage and divorce
Hinduism is a religion in which it was believed that marriages are matches made
in heaven and it was believed that the bond of a husband and wife is supposed
to be permanent and eternal and because of this the concept of divorce was not
really known in Hinduism because of which before the Hindu marriage act, there
were no provisions for divorce.
- Provisions in the Hindu marriage act regarding divorce
The Hindu marriage act 1955 allows the laws for divorce and that apply to Hindu,
Buddhist, Jain and Sikhs. Under the section 13 of the act the grounds can be a
voluntary sexual intercourse with someone else, cruelty, desertion for
continuously more than 2 years, ceasing to be hindu by conversion and being
incurable of unsound mind and other than this the section 13B provides for
divorce by mutual consent however there are no provisions for irretrievable
breakdown of marriage.
- Provisions for irretrievable breakdown of marriage in UK
According to the matrimonial causes act 1973, divorce can only be granted if the
party in the court can prove the irretrievable breakdown of marriage and in
order to do that there are various conditions that are mentioned under section
1.1 of the matrimonial causes act 1973 that are if the respondent has committed
adultery and the petitioner cannot live with the respondent or if the respondent
has behaved unreasonably and the petitioner cannot live comfortable or if the
respondent has deserted the petitioner for 2 years or if the parties have lived
separately for 5 years.
- Enforcement of article 142 of the Indian constitution in affairs of
irretrievable breakdown of marriage
Even though irretrievable breakdown of marriage is no ground for divorce
being granted in India, the supreme court does believe that continuing a
marriage that is emotionally dead and cannot be repaired is fruitless and it
only causes harm to both the parties and continuing it any further will only
result in giving trauma to both the parties and hence it is always better if
such marriages come to an end because of which the supreme court shall
enforce article 142 of the Indian constitution that gives the Supreme court
a unique power to complete
justice between both the parties involved.
Article 142 can be enforced when the
existing statutory laws cannot provide a remedy such as in the case of Naveen
Kohli v. Neetu Kohli in which the supreme court granted divorce under
article 142 and calling their marriage irretrievable broken. In such cases the
court shall declare the marriage irretrievably broke down and grant divorce and
we shall be discussing such type of cases through various cases laws in this
- Analysing the conditions required for divorce in India and in UK
In order to compare and analyse the irretrievable breakdown of marriage in India
and UK we need to analyse the conditions required to get a divorce because in
India irretrievable breakdown is not a ground for divorce but it is a ground
of divorce in UK and hence we need to start at the base and compare the
conditions required to get a divorce in both the countries.
We are going to
compare the conditions required for divorce because the conditions required to
prove a marriage as irretrievably broken down in UK there are some conditions
mentioned under section 1.1 of the matrimonial causes act 1973 that are also
somewhat similar to the conditions required for a divorce to be granted under
the section 13 of the Hindu marriage act.
So in order to analyse and compare
irretrievable breakdown of marriages in India and UK we shall be comparing the
article 13 of Hindu marriage act with the section 1.1 of the matrimonial causes
act 1973 that we will be carefully doing by studying case laws and also taking
into consideration the power of article 142 of the Indian constitution keeping
in mind that it only grants the power to the supreme court and not all the cases
reach supreme court
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- Special Marriage Act 1955
- Matrimonial Causes Act 1955
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- AIR 2006 SC 1675
Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriages
Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage: A Special Ground For Divorce
Divorce Cannot Be Granted only on Ground of Irretrievable Breakdown of
Marriage: Delhi HC
Should Irretrievable Breakdown Be The Ground of Divorce In Personal Laws of
Irretrievable Breakdown Of Marriage Vis-A-Vis Hindu Law In India
Irretrievable breakdown of marriage - Divorce lawyers