Grounds for divorce for women under Hindu law

Grounds for divorce for women under Hindu law

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Since the ancient time divorce has been considered taboo in India. But it was also seen that woman in the most marriages were suffering from injustice and firstly she was not even asked about her consent for her marriage and once she was married no-one paid attention to the woman whether she is happy with her husband or not? Moreover seeing the status of women of the society government came with grounds of divorce whose benefits only women could take and can get a divorce from her husband.

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 declares Divorce as ‘Dissolution of marriage’.  There are various grounds of divorce on which women can file a petition for divorce which are as follows:

  1. Adultery

Adultery means consensual relation between a married person with another married/ unmarried person outside the marriage. So if the husband of the woman has sexual relationship with some other women outside the marriage then it becomes a ground for divorce under the Hindu Marriage act. Even if the husband has sexual relationship with his second wife firstly it comes under bigamy and secondary it lies under adultery. Earlier adultery was also a crime but 2018 judgement adultery is no longer a crime but still, it acts a reason for divorce.

  1. Cruelty

Cruelty can be mental as well as physical. Physical cruelty is when the husband beats or causes any bodily injury his wife and tortures her for nothing. But mental cruelty was added in this because many times husband doesn’t give any physical torture to his wife to save himself from society but do causes’ mental stress which badly affects the health of the wife. Mental cruelty is not seen but it is important as physical cruelty. And thus it acts as one of the important grounds for divorce for women.

  1. Desertion

Desertion means when the husband permanently leaves his wife without giving any reasonable excuse or without the consent of his wife then it becomes a ground for divorce. Although after the wife can restitution of conjugal rights but even after this if the husband doesn’t come back then it is a ground for divorce. In general, desertion is a way of not fulfilling marriage obligations.

  1. Conversion

When the spouse converts his religion to another religion without the consent of the wife then the wife can move to court seeking the divorce from her husband.

  1. Insanity

When the spouse has been suffering from insanity then wife can demand the divorce on this ground but there two requirements for this:

  1. The respondent should be incurable of unsound mind.
  2. The respondent has been suffering from such a mental disease that it is difficult for the petitioner to live with him.

     6. Renunciation

It means when one spouse renunciate from the world and follows the path of god then the other spouse has a right to file a divorce under this. Renunciation means that person is civilly dead.

  1. Presumption of death

In this case, family and friends don’t hear about the person from a very long time. And when the time seven years is over the person is considered dead and in that case then the other spouse can file for divorce.

These were the main reasons on basis of which a wife can demand a divorce from her husband and apart from this there are certain other grounds on which a wife can file a petition for divorce which are as follows:

  • If the husband marries another woman whether before or after the commencement of this act and practices bigamy then the wife can file a petition of divorce under this.
  • If the husband is guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality.
  • If the husband was bound to pay maintenance for his wife under some decree and he refuses to pay that then the wife can file a divorce under this.

So now we have seen that which can be grounded under which women can file a divorce.

This blog is written by Pragya Sharma, Amity University.

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