As per India legal news reports, the Madras High Court has held that the courts in the country have jurisdiction to address matrimonial cases, which involve Hindus and are governed by the Hindu Marriage Act, including those cases where the opposite party is a foreign citizen, residing outside India.
The Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, was enacted with an objective, namely to protect the rights of divorced Muslim women. The Act, entitles a divorced Muslim woman, to claim maintenance from her ex-husband. Further, it provides that the husband is obliged to provide maintenance within the period of iddat (waiting period imposed upon a Muslim woman, after dissolution of her marriage). However, the obligation is not restricted to the period of iddat. Also, the Act provides that in case her husband fails to provide maintenance, she can approach the Wakf Board for the same.
Indian law pertaining to collusion, condonation and delay are topics that have been covered on this LIG platform. Another important bar to matrimonial relief is the ‘One Year Bar’ which is becoming increasingly popular with every passing generation. This is a matter of public policy, which implies that one cannot file a petition for divorce within one year after the marriage takes place. The purpose of this bar is to ensure that couples give a fair trial to each other and try to make the marriage work well.
Legal battles are fought between parents for child custody, which is indeed the most unfortunate aftermath following a marital breakup. Parents, after undergoing a matrimonial war, tend to fight over their child’s custody without understanding its psychological impact on their child. They should at least care about the emotional and physical stress that the child undergoes due to their break up but no, this doesn’t usually happen. The situation is worsened by the delay with which Indian law and the legal system functions in delivering a quick ruling on child custody.
On Friday, 11 June 2010, the Indian Cabinet approved an amendment under which a married couple can use irretrievable breakdown as a ground for divorce in India. Although, it is yet to be cleared in the Parliament, the amendment offers respite to many couples in India who are unable to cope with continuing in their marriage. Indian laws for divorce make it difficult for couples to separate from each other legally.
A widowed daughter-in-law is entitled to get maintenance from her father-in-law under section 19, of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. Now the question arises whether a daughter-in-law can claim maintenance from the property of her mother-in-laws under Hindu law. Here’s an interesting real life saas-bahu case to take this discussion forward.
Under Indian marriage laws, a marriage can be set aside if the consent for it was secured by fraud or misrepresentation of facts. This is not so easy to prove. However, it must be noted that fraud is not defined in the Indian marriage laws. So, any type of fraud cannot be taken as a ground for matrimonial relief.
Under Indian marriage laws, collusion is an illicit clandestine agreement between the parties so as to further a common object by in the garb of hostility. According to Rayden, ‘collusion means an agreement or bargain between the parties to a suit or their agents, whereby the initiation of the suit is procured or its conduct provided for.’
Desertion is intentional and indefensible abandonment of responsibility towards a spouse. It is a willful abandonment or willful failure to provide for the care, protection or support of a person towards his/her spouse who is in necessitous circumstances. Simply put, legal desertion is a ground for divorce in Hindu marriage law.
Under Indian laws pertaining to marriage disputes, condonation means pardoning a matrimonial offence such as adultery. The concept of condonation also involves reinstating the offending spouse to the same level of respect and mutual understanding that s/he enjoyed before committing the offence. It must be noted that a spouse cannot seek matrimonial relief on the ground of lapse by the other if it was already condoned.