Report No. 15
49. Grounds of divorce.-
We may now refer to the grounds on which divorce could be granted. The law on the subject is now contained in section 10 of the Indian Divorce Act, 1869, and that has come in for the following criticisms:
(1) It makes a distinction between the husband and the wife in the matter of grounds on which they could obtain divorce. While adultery, without more, is a ground for divorce in a petition by the husband, in the case of a petition by the wife, there should, in addition, be some other element, such as that it should be incestuous adultery, or bigamy with adultery, or adultery coupled with cruelty or desertion for two years. The criticism is that there is no justification for maintaining this distinction between the husband and the wife. We agree with it.
(2) Under section 10 of the Divorce Act, adultery is the only ground on which divorce could be granted, apart from some grounds special to the wife. It is said that this law has now become very much out of date, and that it-is necessary to allow divorce on several other grounds, as has been done in all modern legislation. This criticism is also well-founded. Section 10 is thus of little assistance to us in formulating the grounds for divorce.