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Report No. 71

Chapter 2

Present Law under The Hindu Marriage Act

2.1. Present law under the Hindu Marriage Act.-

The present statutory law relating to grounds, of divorce as applicable to Hindus is contained in sections 13, 13A and 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. In sections 13(1)1 and 13(1A)2, certain grounds are mentioned in which either the husband or the wife can seek dissolution of the marriage. In sub-section (2) of section 13, certain additional grounds3 are laid down in this behalf which can be made use of by the wife only. Section 13B is a special provision inserted recently4 to provide for divorce by consent after living apart for one year. In this case, the law requires a joint petition by both the parties.

The grounds for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act reflect, in the main, three categories of grounds. The first is the traditional theory of matrimonial fault. The second is the theory of frustration by reason of specified circumstances. The third is the theory of consent. There is, however, no theory of breakdown of the marriage-except to a very limited extent as will be mentioned in due course.5

1. Nine grounds in section 13(1); see para. 2.2, infra.

2. Two grounds in section 13(1A); see para. 2.3, infra.

3. Four grounds in section 13(2); see para. 2.4, infra.

4. See para. 2.5, infra.

5. Paras. 2.3 and 2.5, infra.

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

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