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Report No. 71

6.4. Recommendation as to Question .-

living apart as proof of breakdown.-After giving our earnest consideration to the matter we would express the view that irretrievable breakdown may be presumed from the fact that the husband and wife have been living apart for a continuously long lime. How much long that period should be, will be dealt with subsequently.1

1. See infra.

6.5. We would add that living apart for the specified period should be the only proof of irretrievable breakdown. In formulating a conclusion on this question, several considerations have to be borne in mind. It is, in our opinion, not enough for a party to aver that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of marriage. Such an averment must be substantiated. What better material can there be to substantiate that averment than the fact the husband and wife, despite their marital relationship, have been living apart for a long period? The fact that the parties to the marriage have not lived together for a number of years can reasonably be taken to be a tangible presumptive proof of the breakdown of marriage.

Moreover, the essence of marriage is a sharing of common life, a sharing of all the happiness that life has to offer and all the misery that has to be faced in life, an experience of the joy that comes from enjoying, in common, things of the matter and of the spirit and from showering love and affection on one's offspring. Living together is a symbol of such sharing in all its aspects. Living apart is a symbol indicating the negation of such sharing. It is indicative of a disruption of the essence of marriag.-"breakdown"-and if it continues for a fairly long period, it would indicate destruction of the essence of marriage-"irretrievable breakdown".

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 - Irretrievable breakdown of Marriage as a Ground of Divorce Back

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