Report No. 18
Sub-clause (1) enables a spouse to sue for divorce after his or her own conversion, if the other party refuses to cohabit with or repudiates the spouse in consequence of such conversion. The substance of the provision is taken from sections 4 and 5 of the existing Converts' Marriage Dissolution Act, but the requirement that the desertion or repudiation must have been for the space of six continuous months has been omitted as unnecessary. Further, the word "desertion", it is felt, is not appropriate, as the Act gives relief not on the ground of any matrimonial offence of the non-convert, but on the ground of conversion not being acceptable to the other party. Hence the words "refuses to cohabit" have been used.
Sub-clause (2) provides a minimum interval between the conversion and the petition. If no such minimum interval is prescribed, it is apprehended that sham conversions may be resorted to with the sole object of getting a divorce on that basis. Some interval should therefore elapse between the conversion and the presentation of the petition.
Under the ordinary law applicable to the parties,1 "desertion" itself will be a ground for matrimonial relief if it has lasted for a particular period. The clause under discussion, by providing the same period, will ensure that there will be no sham conversions, and secure uniformity.
1. See, for example, section 10(1)(a) of the Hiridt. Marriage Act, 1955, which allows judicial separation on desertion for two years, and section 22 of the Indian Divorce Act, 1869, which allows judicial separation on desertion for two years.