DIVORCE (SECTION 13 OF THE HMA , 1955)

by | Dec 12, 2023

INTRODUCTION

Divorce is a legal process that marks the separation of married individuals, and its prevalence has increased in recent times. Governed by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, this article explores the grounds for filing a divorce petition and the detailed conditions outlined in Section 13 of the Act.

SECTION 13: GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE UNDER HINDU MARRIAGE ACT,1955

Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, outlines the conditions for divorce within Hindu marriages. It allows either the husband or the wife to file a petition for divorce, and certain conditions must be met to obtain a decree of divorce. Let’s delve into the specific grounds mentioned in Section 13.

  • Voluntary Sexual Intercourse (Section 13(1)(i)

This ground allows a spouse to file for divorce if the other engages in voluntary sexual intercourse outside the marriage. Proof of voluntary involvement is crucial for the court to consider granting a divorce.

Cruelty (Section 13(1)(ia)

Cruelty has become a significant reason for divorce, with instances of domestic violence on the rise. If a spouse inflicts cruelty upon the other post-marriage, the victimized party is entitled to seek a divorce.

  • Desertion (Section 13(1)(ib)

Desertion refers to one partner leaving the other without communication for a continuous two-year period. In such cases, the deserted spouse can file for divorce.

  • Ceased to be a Hindu (Section 13(1)(ii)

If a spouse converts to another religion after marriage, and the other party disapproves, the non-converting spouse can seek a divorce through the appropriate court.

  • Unsound Mind (Section 13(1)(iii)

A person of unsound mind, whose condition cannot be cured and significantly disrupts peaceful cohabitation, can file for divorce under this provision.

  • Disease which is Communicable (Section 13(1)(v)

If either spouse suffers from a communicable venereal disease that poses a risk to the other’s life, the affected party can file for divorce under this section.

  • Renunciation of the World (Section 13(1)(vi)

When a spouse renounces worldly life by entering a religious order, leaving the other partner, the latter can file for divorce in the court of law.

  • Missing for Seven or more years (Section 13(1)(vii)

If a person is not heard of as being alive for seven or more years, the other party can file for divorce. This section considers both desertion and willful neglect.

SECTION 13(1A): ADDITIONAL GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE

This provision enables either spouse to file for divorce based on specific grounds, like the absence of cohabitation for one year or more subsequent to a judicial separation decree.

SPECIAL GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE GRANTED TO THE WIFE (SECTION 13(2)

Under this section, certain grounds are exclusively granted to the wife for seeking divorce. These include the husband marrying again, being guilty of rape or sodomy, failure to provide maintenance, and the consummation of marriage before the wife reaches eighteen years of age.

SECTION 13A: ALTERNATE RELIEF IN DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS

This section allows the court, in certain circumstances, to pass a decree for judicial separation instead of divorce, excluding specific grounds like rape, renunciation of the world, and long-term absence.

SECTION 13B: DIVORCE BY MUTUAL CONSENT

Section 13B introduces provisions for divorce by mutual consent under Hindu Marriage Act,1955.Both parties can present a petition for dissolution of marriage to the district court, provided they have lived separately for one year or more and mutually agree to dissolve the marriage.

After filing the petition, there is a waiting period of six to eighteen months for reconsideration. If not withdrawn, the court, after necessary inquiries, can pass a decree of divorce, declaring the marriage dissolved.

CONCLUSION: A JUST SYSTEM OF DIVORCE

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, provides a just system for Divorce by considering various grounds and circumstances. It balances the need for separation with an opportunity for parties to reconsider their decision. Notably, the Act addresses illegal activities post-solemnization, ensuring fairness and equality in the dissolution of marriages. Whether it’s cruelty, desertion, mental health issues, or mutual consent, the Act offers a comprehensive framework that reflects the evolving dynamics of marital relationships.

REFERENCE

1-https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-says-it-can-grant-divorce-on-ground-of-irretrievable-breakdown/article66799200.ece/amp/ -THE HINDU

2-https://www.hindustantimes.com/ht-insight/gender-equality/cruelty-against-husbands-under-the-indian-law-101667828541196-amp.html -HINDUSTAN TIMES

3-https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/mutual-consent-divorce-pleas-hindu-marriages-civil-courts-wait-18-months-reconciliation-karnataka-hc-9059852/lite/ -INDIAN EXPRESS

4-https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/epilepsy-no-ground-for-divorce-under-hindu-marriage-act-bombay-high-court/amp_articleshow/104002679.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA 

 

Written By Archana Singh

I am Archana Singh, a recent law master's graduate with a strong aspiration for the judicial service. My passion lies in elucidating complex legal concepts, disseminating legal news, and enhancing legal awareness. I take immense pride in introducing my new legal website - The LawGist. Through my meticulously crafted blogs and articles, I aim to empower individuals with comprehensive legal insights. My unwavering dedication is to facilitate a profound comprehension of the law, enabling people to execute judicious and well-informed choices.

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