Special Marriage Act 1954

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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: 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 … Continue reading

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