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Constitution of India-Article 44-Uniform Civil Code- Necessity of-Emphasised. Indian Divorce, Act, 1869-Ss. 18, 19 and 22-Petition by wife-Allegation of impotence of husband-Nullity of marriage or judicial separation sought-High Court rejecting prayer for nullity, but granting judicial separation on account of cruelty-Validity of order-Supreme Court holding irretrievable break-down of marriage. Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 ss. 10 and 13B-Special Marriage Act, 1954-Ss. 23 to 28-Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936-Ss. 31 to 34-Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939-S. 2-Grounds for dissolution of marriage not uniform- Necessity for uniform Civil Code-Stressed. = The petitioner belonged to the ‘Khasi Tribe’ of Maghalaya and was born and brought up as a Presbytarian Christian. She is now a member of the Indian Foreign Service. The respondent-husband is a Sikh. They were married under the Indian Christian Marriage Act 1872. The petitioner filed a petition in 1980, for declaration of nullity of marriage or judicial separation under ss. 18, 19 and 22 of the Indian Divorce Act, 1869, on the ground of the impotence of her husband. A Single Judge of the High Court rejected the prayer for declaration of nullity of marriage, but granted a decree for judicial separation on the ground of cruelty. Division Bench affirmed the decision of the Single Judge on appeal. In the special leave petition filed by wife, ^ HELD: (1) A comparison of the relevant provisions of the Christian Marriage Act 1872, Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Special Marriage Act 1954, Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1936, Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939, show that the law relating to judicial separation, divorce and nullity of marriage is far, far from uniform. [717 B] (2) Under the Hindu Marriage Act, a decree for the judicial separation may be followed by a decree for the dissolution of marriage on the lapse of 705 one year or upwards from date of the passing of a decree for judicial separation, if meanwhile there has been no resumption of cohabitation. There is no corresponding provision under the Indian Divorce Act and a person obtaining a decree for judicial separation will have to remain content with that decree and cannot seek to follow it up with a decree of divorce, after the lapse of any period of time. [711 B-C] (3) In the instant case, the marriage appears to have broken down irretrievably. If the findings of the High Court stand, there is no way out for the couple. They will continue to be tied to each other since neither mutual consent nor irretrievably break-down of marriage is a ground for divorce, under the Indian Divorce Act. There is no point or purpose to be served by the continuance of a marriage which has so completely and signally broken down. The parties are bound together by a marital tie which is better untied. [717 B-C] (4) Time has now come for the intervention of the legislature to provide for a uniform code of marriage and divorce as envisaged by Article 44 and to provide by law for a way out of the unhappy situations in which couples find themselves in. It is necessary to introduce irretrievably break-down of marriage, and mutual consent as grounds of divorce in all cases. [717 C-D] =1985 AIR 935, 1985( 1 )Suppl.SCR 704, 1985( 3 )SCC 62, 1985( 1 )SCALE952 ,

PETITIONER:
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MS. JORDAN DIENGDEH

 Vs.

RESPONDENT:
S.S. CHOPRA

DATE OF JUDGMENT10/05/1985

BENCH:
REDDY, O. CHINNAPPA (J)
BENCH:
REDDY, O. CHINNAPPA (J)
MISRA, R.B. (J)

CITATION:
 1985 AIR 935 1985 SCR Supl. (1) 704
 1985 SCC (3) 62 1985 SCALE (1)952

ACT:
 Constitution of India-Article 44-Uniform Civil Code-
Necessity of-Emphasised.
 Indian Divorce, Act, 1869-Ss. 18, 19 and 22-Petition by
wife-Allegation of impotence of husband-Nullity of marriage
or judicial separation sought-High Court rejecting prayer
for nullity, but granting judicial separation on account of
cruelty-Validity of order-Supreme Court holding
irretrievable break-down of marriage.
 Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 ss. 10 and 13B-Special
Marriage Act, 1954-Ss. 23 to 28-Parsi Marriage and Divorce
Act, 1936-Ss. 31 to 34-Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act,
1939-S. 2-Grounds for dissolution of marriage not uniform-
Necessity for uniform Civil Code-Stressed.

HEADNOTE:
 The petitioner belonged to the 'Khasi Tribe' of
Maghalaya and was born and brought up as a Presbytarian
Christian. She is now a member of the Indian Foreign
Service. The respondent-husband is a Sikh. They were married
under the Indian Christian Marriage Act 1872. The petitioner
filed a petition in 1980, for declaration of nullity of
marriage or judicial separation under ss. 18, 19 and 22 of
the Indian Divorce Act, 1869, on the ground of the impotence
of her husband.
 A Single Judge of the High Court rejected the prayer
for declaration of nullity of marriage, but granted a decree
for judicial separation on the ground of cruelty. Division
Bench affirmed the decision of the Single Judge on appeal.
 In the special leave petition filed by wife,
^
 HELD: (1) A comparison of the relevant provisions of
the Christian Marriage Act 1872, Hindu Marriage Act 1955,
Special Marriage Act 1954, Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act
1936, Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939, show that
the law relating to judicial separation, divorce and nullity
of marriage is far, far from uniform. [717 B]
 (2) Under the Hindu Marriage Act, a decree for the
judicial separation may be followed by a decree for the
dissolution of marriage on the lapse of
705
one year or upwards from date of the passing of a decree for
judicial separation, if meanwhile there has been no
resumption of cohabitation. There is no corresponding
provision under the Indian Divorce Act and a person
obtaining a decree for judicial separation will have to
remain content with that decree and cannot seek to follow it
up with a decree of divorce, after the lapse of any period
of time. [711 B-C]
 (3) In the instant case, the marriage appears to have
broken down irretrievably. If the findings of the High Court
stand, there is no way out for the couple. They will
continue to be tied to each other since neither mutual
consent nor irretrievably break-down of marriage is a ground
for divorce, under the Indian Divorce Act. There is no point
or purpose to be served by the continuance of a marriage
which has so completely and signally broken down. The
parties are bound together by a marital tie which is better
untied. [717 B-C]
 (4) Time has now come for the intervention of the
legislature to provide for a uniform code of marriage and
divorce as envisaged by Article 44 and to provide by law for
a way out of the unhappy situations in which couples find
themselves in. It is necessary to introduce irretrievably
break-down of marriage, and mutual consent as grounds of
divorce in all cases.
 [717 C-D]JUDGMENT:
 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Special Leave Petition
(Civil) No. 2047 of 1985.
 From the Judgment and Order dated 29.2.1984 of the
Delhi High Court in F.A.O. (O.S.) No. 28 of 1982.
 Mohinder Narian, S.S. Jauhar and Ms. Zubeda Begum for
the Petitioner.
 The Order of the Court was delivered by
 CHINNAPPA REDDY, J. It was just the other day that a
Constitution Bench of this Court had to emphasise the
urgency of infusing life into Art. 44 of the Constitution
which provides that "The State shall endeavour to secure for
the citizens a uniform civil code through out the territory
of India." The present case is yet another which focuses
attention on the immediate and compulsive need for a uniform
civil code. The totally unsatisfactory state of affairs
consequent on the lack of a uniform civil code is exposed by
the facts of the present case. Before mentioning the facts
of the case, we might as well refer to the observations of
Chandrachud, C.J., in the recent case decided by the
Constitution Bench (Mohd Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum &
Ors.)
706
 "There is no evidence of any official activity for
 framing a common civil code for the country ... ... A
 common Civil Code will help the case of national
 integration by removing disparate loyalties to laws
 which have conflicting ideologies. No community is
 likely to bell the cat by making gratuitous concessions
 on this issue. It is the State which is charged with
 the duty of securing a uniform civil code for the
 citizens of the country and, unquestionably, it has the
 legislative competence to do so. A counsel in the case
 whispered, somewhat audibly, that legislative
 competence is one thing, the political courage to use
 that competence is quite another. We understand the
 difficulties involved in bringing persons of different
 faiths and persuasions on a common platform. But, a
 beginning has to be made if the Constitution is to have
 any meaning. Inevitably, the role of the reformer has
 to be assumed by the courts because, it is beyond the
 endurance of sensitive minds to allow injustice to be
 suffered when it is so palpable. But piecemeal attempts
 of courts to bridge the gap between personal laws
 cannot take the place of a common civil code. Justice
 to all is a far more satisfactory way of dispensing
 justice from case to case."
 The facts of the case are somewhat novel and peculiar.
The wife, who is the petitioner before us claims to belong
to the 'Khasi Tribe' of Meghalaya, who was born and brought
up as a Presbytarian Christian at Shilong. She is now a
member of the Indian Foreign Service. The husband is a Sikh.
They were married under the Indian Christen Marriage Act,
1872. The marriage was performed on October 14, 1975. The
present petition for declaration of nullity of marriage or
judicial separation was filed in 1980 under sections 18, 19
and 20 of the Indian Divorce Act, 1869. The prayer for
declaration no nullity of marriage was rejected by a learned
single judge of the High Court, but a decree for judicial
separation was granted on the ground of cruelty. On appeal,
a Division Bench of the High Court affirmed the judgment of
the learned single judge. The wife has filed this petition
for special leave to appeal against the judgment of the High
Court. She seeks a declaration of nullity of marriage. The
ground on which the declaration was sought in the courts
below and the ground on which it is now sought is the
impotence of the husband in that though the husband is of
achieving
707
erection and penetration, he ejaculates prematurely before
the wife has an orgasm, leaving the wife totally unsatisfied
and frustrated. At this stage, we are not concerned with the
question how far the wife has been able to establish her
case. The real problem now is that the marriage appears to
have broken down irretrievably. Yet if the findings of the
High Court stand, there is no way out for the couple, they
will continue to be tied to each other since neither mutual
consent nor irretrievable break down of marriage is a ground
for divorce, under the Indian Divorce Act. Section 10 the
Indian Divorce Act prescribes the grounds on which a husband
or wife may petition for dissolution of marriage. The ground
on which a husband may obtain a decree for dissolution of
marriage is the adultery of the wife. The grounds on which a
wife may obtain a decree for dissolution of marriage are
change of religion from Christianity to another religion and
marriage with another woman, incestuous adultery, bigamy
with adultery, marriage with another woman with adultery,
rape, sodomy or bestiality, adultery coupled with cruelty,
adultery coupled with desertion for more than two years. It
must be noted that the Indian Divorce Act applies only to
cases where the petitioner or respondent professes the
Christian religion. Section 19 provides that a marriage may
be declared null and void on the ground-
 "(1) that the respondent was impotent at the time
 of the institution of the suit;
 (2) that the parties are within the prohibited
 degrees of consanguinity (whether natural or legal) or
 affinity;
 (3) that either party was a lunatic or idiot at
 the time of the marriage;
 (4) that the former husband or wife of either
 party was living at the time of the marriage and the
 marriage with such former husband or wife was then in
 fore."
Section 22 provides for judicial aspersion at the instance
of either husband or wife on the ground of adultery, cruelty
or desertions for two years or upwards.
 The provisions of the Divorce Act may now be compared
with the provisions of other enactments and laws which
provide for
708
decrees of nullity of marriage, divorce and judicial
separation. Under the Hindu Marriage Act, sec. 10 provides
for judicial separation. It enables either party to a
marriage to seek judicial separation on any of the grounds
specified in sec. 13(1) and in the case of a wife also on
any of the grounds specified in sub-sec. 2 of sec. 13.
Section 11 provides for a declaration that a marriage is a
nullity if it contravene as any one of the conditions
specified in clauses (i), (iv) and (v) of sec. 5. Sec. 5 (i)
requires that neither party has a spouse living at the time
of the marriage. Sec. 5 (iv) requires that the parties are
not within the degrees of prohibited relationship, unless
the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a
marriage between the two. Sec. 5(v) requires that the
parties are not sapindas of each other, unless the custom or
usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between
the two. Section 12 further provides that a marriage is
voidable and may be annulled if (a) a marriage has not been
consummated owing to the impotence of the respondent; or (b)
a marriage is in contravention of the conditions specified
in sec. 5(ii) (marriage without valid consent); or (c) the
consent of the guardian, where required, under sec. 5 was
obtained by force or fraud; or (d) the respondent was, at
the time of the marriage was pregnant by some person other
than the petitioner. Section 13(1) enumerates the grounds
for the dissolution of a marriage on the petition of a
husband or wife. It provides that a marriage may be
dissolved by a decree of divorce if the other party-
 "(i) has, after the solemnization of the marriage, had
 voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other
 than his or her spouse, or
 (i-a)has, after the solemnization of the marriage,
 treated the petitioner with cruelty, or
 (i-b)has deserted the petitioner for a continuous
 period of not less than two years immediately
 preceding the presentation of the petition, or
 (ii) has ceased to be Hindu by conversion to another
 religion, or
 (iii)has been incurably of unsound mind, or has been
 suffering continuously or intermittently from
 mental disorder of such a kind and to such an
 extent that
709
 the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to
 live with the respondent.
 (EXPLANATION) omitted for the present purpose)
 (iv) has, been suffering from a virulent end incurable
 form of leprosy, or
 (v) has been suffering from venereal disease in a
 communicable form, or
 (vi) has renounced the world by entering any religious
 order, or
 (vii)has not been heard of as being alive for a period
 of seven years or more by these persons who would
 naturally have heard of it, had that party been
 alive."
 (EXPLANATION omitted for the present purpose)
Section 13 (1-A) provides-
 "(i) that there has been no resumption of cohabitation
 as between the parties to the marriage for a
 period of one year or upwards after passing of a
 decree for judicial separation in a proceeding to
 which they were parties, or
 (ii) that there has been no restitution of conjugal
 rights as between the parties to the marriage for
 a period of one year or upwards after the passing
 of the decree for restitution of conjugal rights
 in a proceeding to which they were parties."
Section 13 (2) provides-
 "(2) A wife may also present a petition for the
 dissolution of her marriage by a decree of divorce
 on the ground-
710
 (i) in the case of any marriage solemnized before the
 commencement of this Act, that the husband had
 married again before such commencement or that any
 other wife of the husband married before such
 commencement was alive at the time of the
 solemnization of the marriage of the petitioner,
 or
 Provided that in either case the other wife
 is alive at the time of presentation of the
 petition, or
 (ii) that the husband has, since the solemnization of
 the marriage, been guilty of rape, sodomy or
 bestiality, or
 (iii)that in a suit under section 18 of the Hindu
 Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, or in a
 proceeding under section 125 of the Code of
 Criminal Procedure, 1973 (or under the
 corresponding section 488 of the Code of Criminal
 Procedure, 1898), a decree or order, as the case
 may be, has been passed against the husband
 awarding maintenance to the wife notwithstanding
 that she was living apart and that since the
 passing of such decree or order, cohabitation
 between the parties has not been resumed for one
 year or upwards, or
 (iv) that her marriage (whether consummated or not) was
 solemnized before she attained the age of fifteen
 years and she has repudiated the marriage after
 attaining that age but before attaining the age of
 eighteen years."
Section 13-A provides that on a petition for dissolution of
marriage by a decree of divorce, except in so far as the
petition is founded on the grounds mentioned in sec. 13 (i)
(ii) (vi) and (vii), the court may, if it considers it just
so to do, having regard to the circumstances of the case,
pass a decree for judicial separation. Section 13-B further
provides that a petition for dissolution of marriage by a
decree of divorce may be presented to the court by both the
parties to the marriage together on the ground that they
have been living separately for a period of one year or
more, that they have not been able to live together and that
they have mutually agreed that the marriage
711
should be dissolved. If the provisions of the Hindu Marriage
Act are compared with the provisions of the Indian Divorce
Act, it will be seen that apart from the total lack of
uniformity of grounds on which decrees of nullity of
marriage, divorce or judicial separation may be obtained
under the two Acts, the Hindu Marriage Act contains a
special provision for a joint application by the husband and
wife for the grant of a decree of divorce by mutual consent
whereas the Indian Divorce Act contains no similar
provision. Another very important difference between the two
Acts is that under the Hindu Marriage Act, a decree for
judicial separation may be followed by a decree for the
dissolution of marriage on the lapse of one year or upwards
from the date of the passing of a decree for judicial if
meanwhile there has been no resumption of cohabitation.
There is no corresponding provision under the Indian Divorce
Act and a person obtaining a decree for judicial separation
will have to remain content with that decree and cannot seek
to follow it up with a decree of divorce, after the lapse of
any period of time. We may also notice that irretrievable
break down of marriage is yet no ground for dissolution of
marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act also, though the
principle appears to have been recognised in sec. 13 (1-A)
and sec. 13(B).
 We may now have a look at the provisions of the Special
Marriage Act, 1954 which applies only to marriages
solemnized under that Act. Sec. 23 of the Act enables the
husband or the wife to present a petition for judicial
separation-(a) on any of the grounds specified in sub-
section (1) and sub-section (1-A) of section 27 on which a
petition for divorce might have been presented; or (b) on
the ground of failure to comply with a decree for
restitution of conjugal rights. Section 24 declares that a
marriage may be declared nullity if (i) any of the
conditions specified in clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d) of
section 4 has not been fulfilled; or (ii) the respondent was
impotent at the time of the marriage and at the time of the
institution of the suit. We may notice here that sec. 4
clauses (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) provide that neither
party has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity or
epilepsy, that the male has completed 21 years of age and
the female 18 years of age and that the parties are not
within the degrees of prohibited marriage. Section 25
declares that a marriage shall voidable and may be annulled
by a decree of nullity if,-
 "(i) the marriage has not been consummated owing to the
712
 wilful refusal of the respondent to consummate the
 marriage; or
 (ii) the respondent was at the time of the marriage
 pregnant by some person other than the petitioner;
 or
 (iii)the consent of either party to the marriage was
 obtained by coercion or fraud, as defined in the
 Indian Contract Act, 1872."
 (The provisos have been omitted as they are not
 necessary for the purposes of this case)
Section 27 enables either the husband or the wife to seek a
decree of divorce on the ground that the respondent-
 "(a) has, after the solemnization of the marriage, had
 voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other
 than his or her spouse; or
 (b) has since the solemnization of the marriage
 treated the petitioner with two years immediately
 preceding the presentation of the petition; or
 (c) is undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for seven
 years or more for an offence as defined in the
 Indian Penal Code;
 (d) has since the solemnization of the marriage
 treated the petitioner with cruelty; or
 (e) has been incurably of unsound mind, or has been
 suffering continuously or intermittently from
 mental disorder of such a kind and to such an
 extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be
 expected to live with the respondent.
 (Explanation omitted as it is not necessary.)
 (f) has been suffering from venereal disease in a
 communicable form; or
713
 (g) has been suffering from leprosy, the disease not
 having been contracted from the petitioner; or
 (h) has not been heard of as being alive for a period
 of seven years or more by those persons who would
 naturally have heard of the respondent if the
 respondent has been alive."
 (Explanation omitted as it is not necessary)
Section 27 (1A) enables a wife to present a petition for
divorce on the ground that her husband has since the
marriage been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality, or that
an order for maintenance has been made against the husband
and that cohabitation has not been resumed for one year or
upwards after the making of the order. Sec. 27 (2) further
provides that a decree for divorce may be presented on the
ground that there has been no resumption of cohabitation as
between the parties to the marriage for a period of one year
or upwards after the passing of a decree for judicial
separation. Sec. 28 provides for the passing of a decree of
divorce on the presentation of a petition by both the
parties together on the ground that they have been living
separately for a period of one year or more, that they have
not been able to live together and that they have actually
agreed that the marriage should be dissolved. It will be
seen that the Special Marriage Act like the Hindu Marriage
Act contains provisions for a decree for judicial separation
being followed up by a decree of divorce if there has been
no resumption of cohabitation for a year or more and also
for a decree of divorce by mutual consent. Here again, it
will be seen that the principle of irretrievable break down
of marriage seems to be accepted on principle, but is not
specifically made a ground of divorce.
 Under the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936, section
30 provides that a marriage may be declared to be null and
void if consummation of a marriage is from natural causes
impossible. Sec. 31 provides for the dissolation of a
marriage if a husband or wife has continuously been absent
for a period of seven years and has not been heard of as
being alive within that time. Sec.32 provides grounds for
divorce:
 "(a) that the marriage has not been consummated within
 one year after its solemnization owing to the
 wilful refusal of the defendant to consummate it;
714
 (b) that the defendant at the time of the marriage was
 of unsound mind and has been habitually so up to
 the date of the suit; (Proviso has been omitted)
 (c) that the defendant was at the time of marriage
 pregnant by some person other than the plaintiff;
 (Proviso has been omitted)
 (d) that the defendant has since the marriage
 committed adultery or fornication or bigamy or
 rape or an unnatural offence;
 (Proviso has been omitted)
 (e) that the defendant has since the marriage
 voluntarily caused grievous hurt to the plaintiff
 or has infected the plaintiff with venereal
 disease, or, where the defendant is the husband,
 has compelled the wife to submit herself to
 prostitution;
 (The proviso has been omitted)
 (f) that the defendant is undergoing a sentence of
 imprisonment for seven years or more for an
 offence as defined in the Indian Penal Code;
 (The proviso has been omitted)
 (g) that the defendant the deserted the plaintiff for
 at least three years;
 (h) that a decree or order for judicial separation has
 been passed against the defendant, or an order has
 been passed against the defendant by a Magistrate
 awarding separate maintenance to the plaintiff,
 and the parties have not had marital intercourse
 for three years or more since such decree or
 order;
 (i) that the defendant has failed to comply with a
 decree for restitution of conjugal rights for a
 year or more; and
715
 (j) that the defendant has ceased to be a Parsi."
 (Proviso has been omitted)
Section 34 provides for judicial separation on any of the
grounds on which divorce could be sought; or on the ground
that the defendant has been guilty of such cruelty to him or
her or to her children or has used such personal violence,
or has behaved in such a way as to render it in the judgment
of the court improper to compel him or her to live with the
defendant. It will be noticed here that under the Parsi
Marriage and Divorce Act also, mutual consent and
irretrievable break down of marriage are not grounds of
divorce though a decree for judicial separation may be
followed by a decree of divorce if the parties have not had
marital intercourse for three years or more since such
decree or order.
 Under the Mohammedan Law, a Muslim husband may divorce
his wife by the pronouncement of talaq. A Muslim wife may
after the passing of the dissolution of Muslim Marriages
Act, 1939, obtain a decree for a dissolution of a marriage
on one of the following grounds:
 "(i) that the whereabouts of the husband have not been
 known for a period of four years;
 (ii) that the husband has neglected or has failed to
 provide for her maintenance for a period of two
 years;
 (iii)that the husband has been sentenced to
 imprisonment for a period of seven years or
 upwards;
 (iv) that the husband has failed to perform, without
 reasonable cause, his martial obligations for a
 period of three years;
 (v) that the husband was impotent at the time of the
 marriage and continues to be so;
 (vi) that the husband has been insane for a period of
 two years or is suffering from leprosy or a
 virulent venereal disease;
 (vii)that she, having been given in marriage by her
 father
716
 or other guardian before she attained the age of
 fifteen years, repudiated the marriage before
 attaining the age of eighteen years
 (Proviso has been omitted as it is not necessary)
 (viii)that the husband treats her with cruelty that is
 to say-
 (a) habitually assaults her or makes her life
 miserable by cruelty of conduct even if such
 conduct does not amount to physical ill-
 treatment, or
 (b) associates with women of evil repute or leads
 an infamous life, or
 (c) attempts to force her to lead an immoral
 life, or
 (d) disposes of her property or prevents her
 exercising her legal rights over it, or
 (e) obstructs her in the observance of her
 religious profession or practice, or
 (f) if he has more wives than one, does not treat
 her equitably in accordance with the
 injunctions of the Qoran;
 (ix) on any other ground which is recognised as valid
 for the dissolution of marriages under Muslim
 Law." (The proviso has been omitted as it is not
 necessary in the present case).
We may add that under strict Hanafi Law, there was no
provision enabling a Muslim women to obtain a decree
dissolving her marriage on the failure of the husband to
maintain her or on his deserting her or maltreating her and
it was the absence of such a provision entailing
'inspeakable misery in innumerable Muslim women' that was
responsible for the dissolution of the Muslims Marriages
Act, 1939. (See Statements of Objects and Reasons of that
Act). If the legislature could so alter the Hanafi Law, we
fail to understand the hallabalcoo about the recent judgment
of this court in the case of
717
Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum & Ors. interpreting the
provisions of sec. 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code and
the Muslim Law. it is also necessary to add that Mohammedan
Law provides for a decree for divorce known as Khula and
mubara' at by agreement of parties.
 It is thus seen that the law relating to judicial
separation, divorce and nullity of marriage is far, far from
uniform. Surely the time has now come for a complete reform
of the law of marriage and make a uniform law applicable to
all people irrespective of religion or caste. It appears to
be necessary to introduce irretrievable break down of
marriage and mutual consent as grounds of divorce in all
cases. The case before us is an illustration of a case where
the parties are bound together by a marital tie which is
better untied. There is no point or purpose to be served by
the continuance of a marriage which has so completely and
signally broken down. We suggest that the time has come for
the intervention of the legislature in these matters to
provide for a uniform code of marriage and divorce and to
provide by law for a way out of the unhappy situations in
which couples like the present have find themselves in. We
direct that a copy of this order may be forwarded to the
Ministry of Law and Justice for such action as they may deem
fit to take. In the meanwhile, let notice go to the
respondents.
A.P.J.
718

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