It’s by chance that I sat down to watch an old Hindi movie, Woh 7 Din, starring Naseerudin Shah, Anil Kapoor and Padmini Kohlapure. I didn’t expect to be so involved with the movie but watch it and you’ll know what I mean. The movie has nothing of today’s type of cinema – cheesy dialogues, ethereal music, visual effects; dazzling costumes by the best fashion designers, brilliant sets for dancing, foreign locations for songs, and not even the top stars who represent the Who’s who of Bollywood. In fact, the hero starring Anil Kapoor made his debut through this simple love story that has lots of family drama and very little glamor.
Hindu law pertains to issues affecting Hindus at large, such as marriage, divorce, adoption, and succession. Section 27 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, provides for disposal of property at the time of dissolution of marriage. According to this section, the court can make such provisions in the ruling/order as it required with respect to any property that may have been gifted, at or about the time of marriage, which belongs jointly to both the husband and the wife.
Divorce is the formal termination or legal dissolution of a marriage. Every nation has distinct laws safeguarding the rights of both the spouses in a marriage. In India, the laws take into account religious distinctions. Divorce of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains is governed by the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, divorce of Muslims is governed by the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act of 1939 and Christians need to follow the laws laid down under the Indian Divorce Act of 1869. There are separate laws for inter-cast or inter-religion marriages. These fall under the Special Marriage Act of 1954.
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.
Getting a divorce in India is certainly not an easy procedure, whether you follow Hindu marriage law or special marriage law. The whole procedure includes many emotional highs and lows and long waits for the final outcome. Before going ahead with the divorce procedure, prepare yourself for the long process ahead.
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.
Although cruelty is mentioned as one of the major grounds for divorce, Indian laws such as the Hindu Marriage Act and the Special Marriage Act do not define it clearly. Various court judgments have led to the interpretation of the term ‘mental cruelty’ and its grounds for seeking divorce in India.
The process of getting a divorce in India may not be as easy as it is in the western countries. It may take years to terminate a marriage contract. This makes it important for the petitioner to go through the proceedings carefully, which include the application procedures and documents to be submitted.
The long legal battle between Shoaib Malik and Ayesha came to a quick, unexpected closure on 7th April 2010, when hectic negotiations bore fruit and Shoaib Malik signed the divorce papers.
For any marriage to be legally valid, consent is an essential ingredient. If the court is satisfied that one of the parties to the marriage did not give consent or was not of sound mind to give consent with a clear understanding of what marriage entails, the marriage may be annulled on the ground that one of the spouses was not of sound mind at the time of the marriage.