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Divorce as per Section 13 of HMA,1955

Divorce: According to Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

Divorce, as we all know is the separation of both the parties in the marriage. In the recent times the rate of Divorce has increased largely due to various reasons. So, as per the Hindu Marriage Act,1955 the grounds on which the parties to the marriage can file a Divorce petition in the court of law are discussed. This article deals with the various grounds under which a petition for divorce can be filed under the Hindu Marriage Act.

The grounds for Divorce under Hindu Marriage Act,1955 are dealt in Section 13. Thus, the grounds on which a petition for divorce can be filed are discussed below.

Grounds for Divorce as per Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955:

Section 13 of this Act deals with the conditions of Divorce amongst the Hindu marriages. According to Sec 13(1) any marriage solemnized whether before or after the commencement of this Act can file a petition for divorce which is presented either by the husband or the wife, that may be dissolved by a decree of divorce. However, for obtaining the decree of divorce the following conditions must be satisfied. They are as follows:
  • Voluntary Sexual Intercourse:

    According to Section 13(1)(i), if any person after the solemnization of marriage had voluntary intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse, then the other person can file a suit for divorce in the court of law. For example, A, after the solemnization of his had a voluntary sexual intercourse with B ,then A’s spouse, C can file a suit for divorce and the court of law may grant the decree for divorce if the intercourse done by A was proved voluntary.
     
  • Cruelty:

    This is one of the main reasons of divorce among the parties to the marriage. Domestic violence and cruelty has taken a rise in the past few years. According to Section 13(1)(ia) of the Act , if any person, after the solemnization of his or her marriage has treated the other with cruelty then that person can file a suit for divorce in the court of law. For example, A, the husband of B, always hits B for no particular reason , B can file a suit for divorce in the court of law.
     
  • Desertion:

    Desertion means leaving the partner for a period of time without informing them about the reason of leaving. Thus, according to Section 13(1)(ib), if one of the parties to the marriage has deserted the other for a continuous period of two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition, then that person can file for divorce under the court of law. For example, A, the husband of B ,deserted his wife B for four long years and has still not returned before the presentation of the petition, then B can get the decree for divorce by the court of law.
     
  • eased to be a Hindu:

    According to Section 13(1)(ii) of the Act, any person who has ceased to be a Hindu by converting to any other religion, after the solemnization of marriage, then the other party to the marriage can file for a suit for divorce under this Act to the appropriate court of law. For example, B, a Hindu , became a Christian after his marriage by way of conversion, A, his wife, did not like his conversion and thus file a suit for divorce. The court will grant the decree for divorce if the conversion is proved.
     
  • Unsound Mind:

    According to Section 13(1)(iii) of the Act, any person who is of unsound mind and cannot possibly be cured or has been suffering continuously or temporarily from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent, that it makes impossible for the other person to live peacefully. In such a case, that person can file a suit for divorce under this section.

Explanation:

In this clause, the expression mental disorder has two meanings:

  1. The expression mental disorder means mental illness, incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder or any other disorder or disability of mind and includes schizophrenia.
  2. The expression psychopathic disorder means a persistent disorder or disability of mind which results in abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the other party and whether or not it requires or is susceptible to medical treatment.

Leprosy:

According to Section 13(1)(iv) , if one of the parties to the marriage are suffering from a virulent or incurable form of leprosy, then the other party can file a suit for divorce under this Act.

Disease which is communicable:

As per Section 13(1)(v) of this Act, if any of the parties to the marriage are suffering from a venereal disease which is communicable and that it puts a risk to the life of the other party, then the other party can file a suit for divorce as per this section.

Renunciation of the World:

According to Section 13(1)(vi) of this Act, if any person has renounced the world by entering into a religious order, after the solemnization of marriage , thereby leaving the other party , then such party can file suit for divorce in the court of law. For example, A ,after his marriage, thought that he was not meant to be a family person , so he renounced the world and became a sanyasi, his wife, B , can file a suit for divorce under this section of the Act.

Missing for Seven or more years:

According to Section 13(1)(vii), if any person, after the solemnization of the marriage is not heard as of being alive for a period of seven years or more by those people who would have normally heard if that person was alive, then the other party can fie a suit for divorce under this ground.

Explanation:
In this sub-section, the expression ‘desertion’ means the desertion of the petitioners by the other party to the marriage without reasonable cause or without the consent or against the wish of such party and includes the willful neglect of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage.

According to Section 13(1A), either party to the marriage , whether solemnized before or after the commencement of the Act, can present a petition for the dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce on the following grounds:
  1. No resumption of cohabitation for one year or more:
    According to Section 13(1A)(i),if there has been no resumption of cohabitation between the parties for a period of one year or more after passing the decree for judicial separation in a proceeding where both were parties, then the court may, on such ground grant the decree for divorce to both the parties.
     
  2. Restitution of Conjugal Rights:
    According to Section 13(1A)(ii), if there has been no restitution of conjugal rights between the parties to the marriage for a period of one year or more after the passing of the decree for judicial separation in a proceeding to which both were parties , then the court may grant the decree for divorce to both the parties.

Special Grounds For Divorce Granted to the wife:

Under Section 13(2) of this Act, there are some special grounds for divorce which are only granted to the wife. Therefore, a wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of here marriage by a decree for divorce under the following grounds:
  • Another marriage by the husband:

    According to Section 13(2)(i), if the husband, in case of any marriage solemnized before the commencement of this Act, had married again before such commencement , or that any other wife of the husband was alive at the time of solemnization of the marriage of the petitioner , also provided that the other wife is alive at the time of presentation of the petition. Therefore, if a husband has married before, and he has a wife alive, he cannot marry another person unless at the time of the commencement of the marriage the other wife, whoever it may be has died.
     
  • Guilty of Rape or Sodomy:

    According to Section 13(2)(ii), the wife can file a decree for divorce if the husband has at any time after the solemnization of marriage, been guilty of rape, sodomy, or bestiality. In such a case, the wife can file a suit for divorce to the appropriate court.
     
  • Maintenance to the wife:

    As per Section 13(2)(iii), if a decree or suit , under section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act,1956 or in a proceeding under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, has been passed against the husband awarding maintenance to the wife notwithstanding that she was living apart and that even after the passing of such decree, cohabitation between them did not resume for a period of one year or more. In such a case, the wife can file a suit for divorce in the court of law.
     
  • Consummation of Marriage:

    According to Section 13(2)(iv) , a woman can file a petition for divorce , if her marriage was solemnized before she attained fifteen years of age and that she repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining eighteen years of age. In such a case, a divorce will also be granted to the wife by the court of law.
     
  • Divorce By Mutual Consent:

    Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1976, contains provisions for divorce which are done by mutual consent . This section further elaborates about the conditions of divorce by mutual consent.

    1. Subject to the provisions of this Act, a petition for dissolution of marriage can be presented to the district court by both the parties to the marriage provided that they have been living separately for a period of one year or more; that they were not able to live together; and that they have mutually agreed to dissolve the marriage.
       
    2. After the petition for dissolution of marriage is presented before the court by both the parties , a period of six months after the date of presentation of the petition , and not more than eighteen months of the presentation of such petition, is given to both the parties for thinking about their decision again and if after the said date the petition is not withdrawn then the court after making necessary enquiries as it thinks fit , pass a decree of divorce declaring the marriage to be dissolved with effect from the date of decree.

Conclusion:
Thus, we can see how the procedure for divorce works under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1956. The Hindu Marriage Act has a very just system of divorce between the parties. On, one hand it gives an opportunity to the parties to rethink their decision and start over again and on the other, it does not tolerate any kind of illegal activity relating to marriage after their solemnization, like if the husband is guilty of rape, then divorce is always granted to the wife or if any of the parties to the marriage has left or deserted the other for a period of one year or more against their wish then the aggrieved party can file for divorce and subsequently he or she will get divorced upon sufficient proof. Thus, the Hindu Marriage Act has a very just system of dissolution of marriage as it treats both the parties to the marriage equally.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Soubhratra Bhattacharjee
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: MA33255113871-12-0321

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