Allahabad HC Calls for Amending Hindu Marriage Act, Recognizing Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage as Ground for Divorce

Author : Nimisha Nayak

Updated On : March 2, 2024

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In a pivotal ruling, the Allahabad High Court has called for amendments to the Hindu Marriage Act, recognizing the changing dynamics of marital relationships in contemporary society. The court underscored the necessity of updating the law to include an irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a valid ground for divorce. This recommendation came to light during a hearing involving a matrimonial dispute, highlighting the evolving nature of love marriages and their contribution to marital conflicts.

Justices Vivek Kumar Birla and Donadi Ramesh, presiding over the case, pointed out the increasing instances of love marriages and the corresponding rise in matrimonial disputes. They attributed these changes to various societal shifts, such as higher levels of education, financial independence, and the influence of Western culture, all of which have significantly altered the traditional dynamics of marital relationships.

The bench observed that the sentimentality and expectations surrounding matrimonial bonds have transformed since the Hindu Marriage Act was first enacted. The judges remarked on society's growing individualism, which has lessened the reliance on emotional support from marital relationships, thereby contributing to their dissolution.

The court's observations were made during the appeal of a doctor whose request for divorce from his wife, also a senior doctor, was previously denied by the Family Court. The appellant cited mental cruelty following his wife's alleged desertion six years after their 2007 marriage. The High Court, referencing the Supreme Court's acknowledgement of irretrievable marriage breakdown in the landmark Naveen Kohli Vs. Neelu Kohli case lamented the legislative inaction in incorporating this as a formal ground for divorce in the Hindu Marriage Act.

Concluding that the marriage in question had indeed irretrievably broken down, the High Court granted a decree of divorce to the petitioner, citing the situation as mental cruelty. Furthermore, the court has directed the Union of India and the Law Commission to deliberate on amending the Hindu Marriage Act to reflect current societal norms and challenges, particularly emphasizing the need to include irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a basis for divorce.

This directive from the Allahabad High Court signifies a proactive step towards legislative reform, aiming to better accommodate the realities of modern marital relationships and their unique challenges.

Allahabad HC Calls for Amending Hindu Marriage Act, Recognizing Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage as Ground for Divorce

Author : Nimisha Nayak

March 2, 2024

SHARE

In a pivotal ruling, the Allahabad High Court has called for amendments to the Hindu Marriage Act, recognizing the changing dynamics of marital relationships in contemporary society. The court underscored the necessity of updating the law to include an irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a valid ground for divorce. This recommendation came to light during a hearing involving a matrimonial dispute, highlighting the evolving nature of love marriages and their contribution to marital conflicts.

Justices Vivek Kumar Birla and Donadi Ramesh, presiding over the case, pointed out the increasing instances of love marriages and the corresponding rise in matrimonial disputes. They attributed these changes to various societal shifts, such as higher levels of education, financial independence, and the influence of Western culture, all of which have significantly altered the traditional dynamics of marital relationships.

The bench observed that the sentimentality and expectations surrounding matrimonial bonds have transformed since the Hindu Marriage Act was first enacted. The judges remarked on society's growing individualism, which has lessened the reliance on emotional support from marital relationships, thereby contributing to their dissolution.

The court's observations were made during the appeal of a doctor whose request for divorce from his wife, also a senior doctor, was previously denied by the Family Court. The appellant cited mental cruelty following his wife's alleged desertion six years after their 2007 marriage. The High Court, referencing the Supreme Court's acknowledgement of irretrievable marriage breakdown in the landmark Naveen Kohli Vs. Neelu Kohli case lamented the legislative inaction in incorporating this as a formal ground for divorce in the Hindu Marriage Act.

Concluding that the marriage in question had indeed irretrievably broken down, the High Court granted a decree of divorce to the petitioner, citing the situation as mental cruelty. Furthermore, the court has directed the Union of India and the Law Commission to deliberate on amending the Hindu Marriage Act to reflect current societal norms and challenges, particularly emphasizing the need to include irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a basis for divorce.

This directive from the Allahabad High Court signifies a proactive step towards legislative reform, aiming to better accommodate the realities of modern marital relationships and their unique challenges.

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