[dropcap]T[/dropcap]housands of divorce cases are pending in the court, many families yet to reach justice. Where divorce proceedings in India are very complicated and it is very tough to go through the proceedings for both men and women, as it is a long time process especially in the 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. These days Court verdicts are shocker; one after another has made it much more complicated for woman. Although we were 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. Our judiciary is that imprudent.
A large percentage of women and men in India live in rural areas where panchayat and tribal laws and local customs are the norm. Even now, in the 21st century there are cases of witches being burnt alive and caste 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 judgment that, a Hindu man can ask 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, aka get an independent life, she can be divorced? Because clearly only her husband’s parents age and need someone to take care of them full-time, 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 get 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 changed in verdict and make human lives more complicated? Why these days many divorce verdicts have gone against woman and favoring men? Is there anything fishy with Supreme Court judges?
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