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Why divorce verdicts are going against women?

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]housands of divorce cases are pending in courts and many families are yet to get justice. Divorce proceedings in India is very complicated and both men and women find it difficult to go through litigation process as it is a time consuming procedure especially in contested divorce cases.

First of all, lawyers play a key role for the success in the divorce proceedings and hence you need to select an experienced lawyer particularly in this subject dealt with more specific issues in the divorce laws. Nowadays, court verdicts are a shocker; one after other cases which favour men has made it much more complicated for women to get justice. Although, we are still improving from the blow of the grounds for divorce laid by the Supreme Court lately, another shock seems to have tormented right into the ribs!

In a country where marital rape is still not a criminal offense under the IPC, verdicts that you’re about to hear will diminish your faith in the judiciary. Indian rape definition is so vague; even an intercourse with consent can be later termed as rape. There is a case where the Madras High Court intervened and imprisoned the man even though the girl acknowledged that it was consensual sex. Our judiciary is that imprudent.

A large percentage of women and men in India live in rural areas where panchayat, tribal laws and local customs are the norm. Even now, in the 21st century there are cases of witches being burnt alive and castes and religious antagonisms are rife. From the legal point of view, laws against marital rape are a step in the right direction, but that requires a society where women are financially independent and equal to men in all respects. Will the country provide financial assistance to a rural woman who has sent her husband to jail for marital rape? Maybe that’s why; our present society is not ready for such a law, which will lead to a social distress, especially in religious minorities. It will be unenforceable and transgressed on a large-scale.

Leaving all the crucial issues aside the Supreme Court says, extra-marital affairs of a man do not always amount to mental cruelty attracting the provision of abetment to suicide. The statement has come to light after a woman-committed suicide due to her husband’s alleged extra-marital affairs. It is significant to note that the other woman involved in the case also committed suicide due to humiliation leading to two more suicides, committed by her mother and brother. If that wasn’t cruel enough, the man charged for infidelity filed an appeal against his conviction of four-year sentence for causing harassment and mental cruelty to his wife, and the SC acquitted him of all charges. In yet another bad decision, we now have weird grounds for divorce. Even though, something as brutal as marital rape is not reason enough for separation, men now have the upper hand in divorce as well.

The Supreme Court has passed a judgement that, a Hindu man can file for divorce if his wife tries to separate him from his ageing parents. A woman needs to leave her parents when she gets married, and that is the ‘norm’. But if she tries to take him away from his parents and live an independent life, she can be divorced? Because only her husband’s parents need someone to take care of them full-time due to old age while her parents are self-sustainable? Anyways, this is what Indian judiciary has decided lately.

Supreme Court also waives 6-month waiting period, grants divorce to couple. The SC has allowed an estranged couple’s plea for divorce by mutual consent by waiving the waiting period of six months, exercising its powers under the Constitution to do “complete justice”.

Now coming back to the most important fact is, whether that woman is married or unmarried? If she is married, the husband can be prosecuted under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code for adultery and can be punished for up to 5 years and fine, or both. In case she is unmarried, that person cannot be prosecuted under the Indian Penal Code. The wife of that person has the remedy of obtaining divorce from him on the ground of adultery.

According to Indian Matrimonial laws, the term extra marital affair is not used what is stated as, “has since the solemnization of the marriage committed adultery” or ” has, after the solemnization of the marriage, had voluntary, sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse”. The sexual relationship out of marriage with someone else than the spouse is the important factor that has to exist in order to obtain dissolution of marriage by decree of divorce.

Merely, if the wife is having friendship with other man will not amount to adultery nor make it a ground for divorce. The sexual relationship with another man other than her husband that is required to exist and proved in order to get divorce even if that sexual relationship was for one time only. When laws are clear why judiciary has to make changes in verdict and make human lives more complicated? Recently, why many divorce verdicts have gone against women and favouring men? Is there anything fishy with Supreme Court judges?

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on

Dr. Vaidehi Taman
Dr. Vaidehi is an Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and an Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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