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Divorce: Hindu Marriage

Divorce is a process by which the marriage is dissolved. After dissolution of the marriage the parties revert back to their unmarried status and are free to marry again. According to section 13 either party to the marriage can file a petition in the District Court praying resolution of the marriage.

The court, keep satisfied with the grounds as specified under section 13 may grand the decree of divorce.

The petition for divorce (also petition for Judicial Separation) can be filed under any one of the following ground:
  • General Ground:

    1. Adultery:

      Adultery is the consensual sexual intercross between a married person with another person of opposite sex other then his/her spouse during the subsistence of the marriage. One of the essential element of adultery is sexsual intercourse. Mere attempt the sexsual intercourse will not amount to adultery.

      In the case of Chandra Mohini v. Avinash AIR 1967 SC 581 court held that, mere love letter to wife by other person would not amount to adultery. In the case of Champa Gouri v. Jamna Das AIR 1971 SC 230 court held that, Close moment like jokes, accompanying in cinema hall etc. do not constitute adultery.
    2. Cruelty:

      It is very difficult to define expression cruelty. Cruelty means such conduct as to cause physical violence of bodily heart or danger to the person of the petitioner. In other words cruelty means conduct of such a creator as to have caused danger to life, limb or health, bodily or mental or as to give rise to reasonable apprehension of such danger.
      Cruelty may be classified as:
      1. Physical Cruelty:

        It is an act of violence by one spouse to an other resulting in injure to body, limb or health causing reasonable apprehension. (Sayal v. Sarala 1961 Punjab 125)
      2. Mental Cruelty:

        Mental cruelty includes use of abusive language, causing mental agony. In the case of N. Sreepadachandra v. Vasantha 1970 Mysore 232 the act of wife in abusing and insulting the husband in public was held to be cruelty.

        In the case of Sova Devi v. Bhima AIR 1976 Ori 80 it was held that intemperate and violent behavior by the husband due to heavy drinking amuse to cruelty. Near drink habit is no cruelty.
    3. Desertion:

      Desertion means leaving or abandoning the spouse by the other spouse with out any reasonable cause. To constitute desertion the following to condition must be satisfied:
      1. Factum of separation
      2. Intention to bring co-habitation to an end permanently Cropala v. Puspa Devi AIR 1982 Kant 329 in this case the husband forced his wife to live away because of the cruelty of his step mother held it would not amount desertion.
    4. Conversion:

      Conversion means change of religion. It is a process by which a person gets converted from one religion to another.
      For example if a Hindu to Christianity he/she if is seased to be a Hindu. It is good ground to the other spouse to take divorce.
    5. Insanity:

      The respondent has been incurring of unsound mind or has been suffering from mental disorder that the petitioner can't reasonably the expected to live with the respondent.
    6. Leprosy:

      After the amendment of 1976 a virulent and incurable from leprosy is a good ground. Swarajya Laxmi v. Padha Rao AIR 1974 SC 165 the husband a doctor discovered that his wife was suffering from leprosy, the husband was granted the decree of divorce.
    7. It has renounced the world by entering any religious order.
    8. It has been suffering from venereal disease in a communicable from.
    9. It has not been heard of as being alive for period of seven year or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of it, had that party been alive.

  • Special ground of Woman:

    1. Bigamy:

      If the husband whose wife is alive gets married again it's amounts to bigamy and is guilty of an offence under 494 of IPC. To file the petitions on the ground of bigamy the first and second wife must be alive at the time of filling the petition under section 13 (2) by the first wife.
    2. Sexual offence:

      A wife can file a petition under section 13 if her husband is guilty certain sex offences. That is rape, sodomy, bestiality.
    3. After decree for maintenance:

      The wife who has been granted for the decree of maintenance under section 18 of the HA&M Act, 1956 or under section 125 of Crpc or under 24 & 25 HMA, 1955 can file a petition under section 13 for divorce if the cohabitation between the parties has not taken place even after the elapse of 1 year.
    4. Repudiation of marriage:

      Where a marriage was solemnized before after the act if the women was below the age of 15 year she can apply for divorce before attending age of 18 years.

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