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Report No. 90

1.3. Breakdown of marriage.-

It has also been emphasised in the letter mentioned above that the recent proposal to amend the Special Marriage Act and the Hindu Marriage Act by way of introducing "irretrievable breakdown" as a ground for divorce (in the two Acts) is the first step towards the liberation of unfortunate Indian women and that the same should be extended to Christians also. Towards the end of the letter, the need for a uniform divorce law covering every community has also been stressed, "thereby enabling the Christian woman especially, to break away completely from an unhappy union and start a new life while she is still young and sane enough to do so."

It may be mentioned that the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill is pending before Parliament, and is intended to implement a Report1 given by the Law Commission on the introduction, in the Hindu Marriage Act, of irretrievable breakdown of marriage (evidenced by the parties living apart for a specified period) as a ground of divorce. That report itself had been forwarded in response to a reference made by the Government of India in the Ministry of Law.

1. Law Commission of India, 71st Report (Hindu Marriage Act-Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage as a Ground of Divorce).

The Grounds of Divorce amongst Christians in India - Section 10 of the Indian Divorce Act, 1869 Back

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