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Report No. 59

9.16. Section 27(1)(b), S.M.A.-

Under section 27(1)(b) of the Special Marriage Act, desertion is a ground of divorce. The requirement has been thus stated:-"

(b) [the respondent] has deserted the petitioner without cause for a period of at least three years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition;"

We are of the view that the period should be two years-the period which we have recommended in relation to the corresponding provision in the Hindu Marriage Act1, and we are also of the view that the definition of "desertion" should be adopted from the Hindu Marriage Act2.

Accordingly, we recommend that section 27(1)(b) should be revised so as to read-

"(b) has deserted the petitioner for a period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition".

And the following Explanation should be inserted at the end of section 27:-

"Explanation.-In this section, the expression "desertion" means the desertion of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage without reasonable cause and without the consent or against the wish of such party, and includes the wilful neglect of the petitioner by the other patty to the marriage, and its grammatical variations and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly."

1. Cf recommendation as to section 13, Hindu Marriage Act, with reference to desertion.

2. Section 10(1) Explanation, H.M.A.

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Special Marriage Act, 1954 Back

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