Report No. 59
7.14. Section 13 and the desertion as the ground of divorce.-
At present, desertion is not a ground of divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act. It is a ground of judicial separation under section 10, but this affords no practical relief, because, when one party has deserted the other, the grant of judicial separation merely enables the deserted party to obtain a ruling from the court that, because of the unjustifiable conduct of the deserter, the deserted party will not be bound to cohabit with the deserter1.
1. See section 10(2), H.M.A.
7.15. The fundamental duty of the parties to a marriage is to stay together, and to give each other the warmth and support expected by the partners in the marriage. If this warmth and support be denied, the marriage falls in its substratum, and the situation is an appropriate one for the grant of divorce-subject, of course, to the usual safeguards. It would, therefore, be appropriate if desertion for a specified period-say two years-is made a ground of divorce under section 13(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act, by inserting a new clause for the purpose. For this purpose, it will be convenient to adopt the definition of "desertion" contained in the Explanation to section 10(1) of the Act.