Grounds of Divorce Under HMA, 1955
The concept of Adultery may not be considered as an offence in many countries. But as per the Hindu Marriage Act, in the matrimonial offence, the adultery is considered as one of the most important ground for seeking divorce. Adultery means the consensual and voluntary intercourse between a married person with another person, married or unmarried, of the opposite sex. Even the intercourse between the husband and his second wife i.e. if their marriage is considered under bigamy, the person is liable for the Adultery.
The concept of Adultery was inserted under the Hindu Marriage Act by the Marriage Laws Amendment Act, 1976.
Essentials of Adultery
- One of the spouses involved in the intercourse with another person, married or unmarried, of the opposite sex.
- Intercourse should be voluntary and consensual.
- At the time of the act, the marriage was subsisting.
- There must be sufficient circumstantial evidence to prove the liability of another spouse.
The concept of cruelty includes mental as well as physical cruelty. The physical cruelty means when one spouse beats or causes any bodily injury to the other spouse. But the concept of mental cruelty was added as the spouse can also be mentally tortured by the other spouse. Mental Cruelty is lack of kindness which adversely affects the health of the person. Well it is easy to determine the nature of physical cruelty but difficult to say about mental cruelty
- What is considered as Mental Cruelty against Husband by wife:
- Humiliating the husband in front of his family and friends.
- Undertaking the termination of pregnancy without husband consent.
- Making false allegation against him.
- Denial for Martial Physical Relationship without a valid reason.
- Wife having affair.
- Wife living an immoral life.
- The constant demand for money.
- Aggressive and uncontrollable behaviour of Wife.
- Ill-treatment to the husband parents and family.
Desertion means the permanent abandonment of one spouse by the other spouse without any reasonable justification and without his consent. In General, the rejection of the obligations of marriage by one party.
- Permanent abandonment of the other spouse.
- Rejection of the obligation of marriage.
- Without any reasonable justification.
- No consent of another spouse.
If one of the spouses converts his religion to any other religion without the consent of the other spouse, then the other spouse can approach the court and seek the remedy of divorce.
Insanity means when the person is of unsound mind. Insanity as a ground of divorce has the following two requirements-
- The respondent has been incurably of unsound mind.
- The respondent has been suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.
Leprosy is an infectious disease of the skin, mucous membranes, nervous system etc. this disease is transmitted from one person to another. Thus it is considered as the valid ground for divorce.
Under this concept, if the disease is in communicable form and it can be transmitted to the other spouse, then this can be considered as the valid ground for divorce.
It means when one of the spouses decide to renunciate the world and walk on the path of the God, then the other spouse can approach the court and demand the divorce. In this concept the party who renunciates the world is considered as civilly dead. It is a typical Hindu practice and considered as a valid ground for divorce.
Presumption of Death
In this case, the person is presumed to have died, if the family or the friends of that person does not hear any news about the person alive or dead for seven years. It is considered as the valid ground for divorce, but the burden of proof is on the person who demands the divorce.