Friday, March 31, 2006

Supreme Court (SC) decision & divorce

Recently SC, in one of his ruling, has read a very important decision on dissolution of marriage i.e. divorce. “The general rule in all questions of cruelty is that the whole matrimonial relations must be considered, that rule is of special value when the cruelty consists of not violent acts but of injurious reproaches, complains, accusations or taunts. It may be mental such as indifference and frigidity towards wife, denial of a company to her, hatred and abhorrence for wife or physical, like acts of violence and abstinence from sexual intercourse without reasonable cause,” a Bench of Justice Ruma Pal and Justice A R Lakshmanan said.( ) SC said the process of divorce should be simplified in case couple is just living together for the sake of only reason that they are married, without any physical & emotional attachment. SC also stated that if required Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) should be amended.

SC’s decision has raised many questions like what should be criteria for deciding that there is no attachment left in between the couple, whether Indian society is ready for it. Right now couple seeking for divorce have to go to court again and again for divorce or they don’t go for divorce because a heavy amount has to be paid.

Before going directly over the implications of the decision let me talk some thing about marriage. Marriage in the current generation is not same and its overall picture is changing fast, especially in urban areas. The days when parents used to select life partner for their children are fading out. Youth wants independence in selecting their life partner after all it’s their life. Which is absolutely right and I think most of the parents would agree with me. In most of the cases of couples seeking divorce, each of the persons is equally education and working. At some point of time their needs, expectations clashes which gives birth to divorce need. Now the question arises if youth are selecting their life partners themselves then why they finally landing up with marriage dissolution. The reason is very simple. In this fast & forward life people are moving very fast and so does their relationship. People are not giving sufficient time to grow up their relationship. They don’t understand clearly each other’s needs. And moreover since each person is having his or her own ambitions they don’t want to bend even a little. Old days there was a lot of compromise in between the couple and I won’t deny that most of the time it was ‘she’ who had to bend a lot. People were not having that much ambitions and life was not that much hectic. I won’t say that current way of marriage is wrong it’s completely correct and of course better than old form but my point is people are not giving sufficient time to build up the relations which has to be a life long relation.

When ever there is question of divorce, division of assets should also be a point of discussion. How the wealth should be divided in the case each of the persons is working and in case only husband is working? Most of you would say 50-50 but what about children. In today’s scenario since people are not getting divorce easily on the grounds that they are not ‘attached’ to each other, they are living under one roof and so their children. If couple will start getting divorce very easily what will be effect on children. Person can at least live together so that there is no affect on their children. However there is other side of coin as well. Decision will certainly help new couple desperately seeking divorce being unhappy with their married life due to any of the reasons specified in the decision. The decision will also help to the couple whose children are enough mature to understand ‘divorce’. But I think the percentage of new couple (married for no longer than 1-1.5 Years) seeking divorce is much more than the old couple.

The main point is that the couple has to understand the implications of divorce. The decision is really a positive step but its undue advantage should not be taken. Before going for divorce they should first think about at least their children because there are other lives associated with their life.


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