Divorce Procedure for Sikhs
Under Sikhism, divorce is treated aversely and even considered taboo. There are vrious grounds that can be invoked for seeking divorce. This article discusses those grounds in brief whilst listing out the procedure for filing a divorce petition.
Under Sikhism, divorce is treated aversely and even considered taboo. The provisions for seeking divorce are stipulated under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
Grounds for Divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
The following grounds can be invoked for securing a divorce under the act:
- Adultery: During the period of marriage, if either spouse maintains sexual relations with a person other than his or her lawfully wedded companion.
- Cruelty: After the marriage, subjecting the petitioner to cruelty.
- Desertion: If either one of the parties to the marriage deserts the other for a consistent span of at least two years , prior to the filing of the petition by the other party.
- Conversion to another religion by either party other than Hinduism
- Mental Disorder: If the spouse of the petitioner suffers from any unsoundness of mind, mental illness or disorder that cannot be cured, then the petitioner can file for divorce.
- Virulent and Incurable Disease: in the form of leprosy.
- Venerable Disease in Communicable form.
- The renunciation of the world or entry to any religious order.
- Not heard being alive for a period of seven years or more.
Additional Grounds for Dissolution of the Marriage by the Wife
Under the act, the wife is entitled to seek divorce from her husband on the following grounds:
- Where the husband has another living wife from his previous subsisting marriage, before the commencement of the act.
- Post the marriage, the husband was found guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality.
- Where the wife was awarded an order or decree for maintenance under section 18 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 or under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1975, by the court, in spite of the fact that she was living apart from her husband even before the passage of such decree or order. The conjugal relations between the parties failed to resume within one year or more, even after the passage of this order.
- The marriage was performed before the attainment of 15 years of age by the wife, and on completion of 15 years and not before 18 years of age, the wife rejected the marriage.
Under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, a divorce petition can be filed by the parties only after the passage of one year from the marriage date.
The Irretrievable breakdown of Marriage
The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 incorporated another ground for seeking divorce, namely the Irretrievable breakdown of marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954. As the term suggests, it leads to a situation whereby, either or both the parties to the marriage find it impossible to peacefully cohabit with each other, due to personality clashes, differences in opinion and have lived separately from each other for a long period of time and are no longer too eager to further carry on their matrimonial relationship.
Divorce by mutual consent
Divorce by mutual consent is the fastest way of getting a divorce in India. A petition seeking divorce has to be filed in the Court by the married couple, on the grounds that both the husband and the wife have been living individually for a time frame of one year or more, thereby failing to fulfill their matrimonial obligations and wanting to dissolve their marriage. A reasonable amount of time, i.e. between 6 to 18 months are given to the married couple for reconsidering their decision for seeking divorce and withdrawing the petition. However, if the petition is not withdrawn during this period, the Court after having been fully satisfied with the averments made in the plaint and after having heard both the parties would grant a decree of divorce.
Filing for the Petition for divorce
Every petition for divorce should be filed in the District Court within the jurisdiction of which:
- The marriage was performed as per Hindu ceremonies and rituals,
- Both parties to the marriage dwelled,
- The other party at the presentation of the petition resides; or
- Where the petitioner is residing at the time of presentation of the petition in case the other party is residing outside the territories to which the Act extends or has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more.
- Every petition should include the following details:
Location and Address of the following family courts in India are as follows:
- The facts or details on the basis of which relief is sought for by the party seeking divorce,
- Both the parties have not collaborated together to deceive the court by filing for a divorce,
- The averments made in the petition are subject to verification by the petitioner or any other reliable person.
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