Provision of Divorce under Hindu Law

    Edited by: Vaani Garg

    Under Hindu Law no petition for divorce can be presented within one year of marriage. Before the marriage laws (Amendment)Act;1976, the period prescribed was three years which has now been reduced to one year.

    Provision under Hindu law

    Section 14(1)provides that ”it shall not be competent for any court to entertain any petition for dissolution of a marriage by a decree, unless at the date of the presentation of the petition one year has elapsed since the date of marriage.”

    Exception:

    A petition may be filed within one year, if so permitted by the court on an application being made to it on the ground of:

    1. Exceptional hardship suffered by the petitioner or;

    2. Exceptional depravity on the part of other party.

    This provision thus reads that “the court may, upon application made to it in accordance with such rules as may be made by the high court in that behalf, allow a petition to be presented before one year has elapsed since the date of the marriage on the ground that the case, is one of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or of exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent.

    But, if it appears to the court at the hearing of the petition that the petitioner obtained left to present the petition by any misrepresentation of the nature of the case, the court may if it pronounces a decree does, so subject to the condition that the decree, shall not have effect until after the expiry of one year from the date of the marriage or may dismiss the petition without prejudice to any petition which may be brought after the expiration of the said one year upon the same or substantially the same facts as those alleged in support of the petition so dismissed.”

    In disposing of any application under this section for leave to present a petition for divorce before the (expiration of one year) from the date of the marriage, the court shall have regard to the interests of any children of the marriage and to the question whether there is a reasonable probability of a reconciliation between the parties before the expiration of the (said one year).

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