Divorce puts the marriage to an end, the parties revert back to the unmarried status and are once again free to marry. The marriage law amendment act makes the grounds of divorce and judicial separation common. An aggrieved party may choose to sue for divorce or judicial separation. Indian legislature in the urge of harmonizing the divorce laws has given the power to women also. The marriage law amendment act 1976 has inserted two additional fault grounds of divorce for a wife. But, originally section 13 (2), the Hindu marriage act provided for only two special grounds on which a wife could seek divorce. Thus under the modern Hindu law, a wife may file a petition for divorce on any of the following grounds :

Pre-Act polygamous Marriage:

This ground had great significance when the Hindu marriage act came into force in 1956 and sometime thereafter. But, now after 47 years, this ground has only significance. In 1955 this ground was a logical consequence of the introduction of monogamy in Hindu law. The Hindu Marriage Act did not rightly render the pre-act polygamous marriages void but provided relief of divorce to any wife of polygamous marriage. Under this clause, any wife be it previous or former of the polygamous marriage may seek divorce the only requirement being at the time of presentation of the petition at least one more wife should be alive. It is obvious that the ground will be available in both marriages must be valid.

Unnatural offenses:

Commission of the offense of Rape, Sodomy, or Bestiality by the husband gives the wife a right to divorce him. Rape is a criminal offense under section 375 of the Indian penal code. Sodomy and bestiality are unnatural offences under section 377 of the same code. And, a person guilty of these offenses can be prosecuted in a criminal court. But under the Hindu law recognizes it as a special ground for divorce for the wife.  The husband has no right to divorce his wife if she is guilty of the same offense. But he can take a plea of divorce in reference to cruelty against him.

Sodomy or bestiality is committed when one has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman, or animal[1]

Nonresumption of cohabitation after the decree of maintenance:

The new sub-clause (iii) of clause (2) of section 13 of the Hindu marriage act lays down that; if a wife has obtained an order of maintenance in proceedings under section 125 of the criminal procedure code 1973; or a decree under section 18 of the Hindu adoption and maintenance act 1956 and cohabitation between the parties has not resumed for one year or upward after the passing of the order or decree then the wife can sue for divorce on that ground. This provision only enables a wife to sue and the husband has no such right.

Repudiation of marriage:

The new sub-clause adds that a wife who was married before the age of 15 years and who has repudiated the marriage after attaining the age but before attaining the age of 18 years may bring a petition of divorce. It may be recalled that a Hindu marriage is neither void nor voidable on the ground of nonage, but it is a valid marriage. Now, this clause provides some relief to those Hindu girls who got married below the age of 15 years. [divorce advocate in gurgaon]


The secular mindset of the Indian judicial system has initiated the proclamation of various personal laws based on different religious faiths. Hindus, Christians, and Muslims are governed under separate marriage Acts and grounds for divorce in India. But women have been armored with the power to file the petition of divorce on the basis of fault theory.

[1] The exception to section 375 IPC

See Also:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required.

This field is required.


The following disclaimer governs the use of this website (“Website”) and the services provided by the Law offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates in accordance with the laws of India. By accessing or using this Website, you acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.

The information provided on this Website is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice or relied upon as such. The content of this Website is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Firm. Any reliance on the information provided on this Website is done at your own risk.

The Law Firm makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information contained on this Website.

The Law Firm disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this Website or for any actions taken in reliance on the information provided herein. The information contained in this website, should not be construed as an act of solicitation of work or advertisement in any manner.