Author: N. Brindhalakshmi, Student at Sastra Deemed University, Tanjore
This research work aims to compare the concept of divorce under the personal laws of the Hindu, Muslim, and Christian. The marital relationship is entered into by the parties to the marriage upon the belief that the bond remains forever. There is an acceleration in the divorce rate from 19th century to the 21st century. This gives rise to several questions. The institution of marriage is established only upon the belief that it will last forever. Then why is the same personal laws that provide for the solemnization of the marriage provides a mechanism for its dissolution?
Let us consider the following situation: A Hindu man marries a Hindu women according to the Hindu norms. After a few years, the man gets converted to Islam, then he will be governed by the Mohammedan law. Under the Mohammedan law, the provision for Divorce is provided under the Dissolution of the Muslim Marriage act of 1939. Under Hindu law, the girl can file a petition for the dissolution of Marriage and claim a decree for divorce under section 13(ii) of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 if her husband gets converted to some other religion. But if the girl gets converted to Christianity then she will be governed by the Christian law and henceforth she cannot claim divorce under section 13(ii) of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. If this couple wants to dissolve their marriage then they cannot claim divorce under Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. They cannot even claim divorce under Muslim or Christian law since their marriage was solemnized according to the Hindu norms. Then under what law can they claim divorce?
There are certain amendments to be made to these personal laws. There need to be significant over haul over the personal laws. The comparison between the Hindu, Muslim, and Christian laws enables the readers to have a deep understanding of these laws and simultaneously provides answers to the questions raised above.
Keywords: Divorce, Matrimonial, Mutual consent, Personal laws, Irrevocable, Conjugal rights.