GROUNDS OF DIVORCE UNDER THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT 1955

In the Hindu Marriage Act, there are some provisions given regarding a valid divorce, i.e. when the spouse can get divorce or appeal for dissolution of marriage in the court of law. For the interest of the society, the marriage or the marital relationship needs to be surrounded by every safeguard for the cause specified by law. Divorce is permitted only for a grave reason otherwise given other alternative.

The Hindu Marriage Act is based on the fault theory in which any one of the aggrieved spouses (Section 13(1)) can approach the court of law and seek the remedy of divorce. Section 13(2) provides the grounds on which only the wife can approach the court of law and seek the remedy of divorce.

ADULTERY

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.

In Swapna Ghose v. Sadanand Ghose

In this case, the wife found her husband with other girl lying on the same bed and the neighbour also confirmed that the husband has committed an offence. Here the wife gets the divorce.

In Sachindranath Chatterjee vs Sm. Nilima Chatterjee

In this case, the petitioner and the defendant were married. After marriage, the husband leaves the wife in his home town so that she can complete her studies and go to another city for work. He visited twice or thrice a month to meet her. Later he found that his wife commits the adultery i.e. to involve in sexual intercourse with his own nephew, watchman etc. The plaintiff approaches the court to demand divorce on the ground of adultery and his petition was accepted and the marriage gets dissolved.

Essentials of Adultery

1.One of the spouses involved in the intercourse with another person, married or unmarried, of the opposite sex.

2.Intercourse should be voluntary and consensual.

3.At the time of the act, the marriage was subsisting.

4.There must be sufficient circumstantial evidence to prove the liability of another spouse.

Cruelty

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.

In Balram Prajapati vs Susheela Bai

In this case, the petitioner filed the divorce petition against his wife on the ground of mental cruelty. He proved that his wife that behaviour with him and his parents was Aggressive and uncontrollable and many times she filed the false complaint against her husband. The court accepts the petition and grants the divorce on the ground of cruelty.

Desertion

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.

Essentials

1.Permanent abandonment of the other spouse.

2.Rejection of the obligation of marriage.

3.Without any reasonable justification.

4.No consent of another spouse.

In Bipin Chander Jaisinghbhai Shah vs Prabhawati

In this case, the respondent leaves the house with the intention to abandon his wife. Later the wife approaches the court, but the defendant proved that even though he left the house with the intention to desert, but he tried to come back and he was prevented from doing so by the petitioner. Here, the defendant cannot be held liable for desertion.

Ritika mongia

Hello everyone! I Ritika Mongia, pursuing B.A.LLB. from Invertis University, Bareilly.

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