further to amend the Indian Divorce Act, 1869.
Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-first Year of the Republic of India as follows:-
1. Short title and commencement.-(1) This Act may be called the Indian Divorce (Amendment) Act, 2000.
(2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
2. Amendment of section 1.-In section 1 of the Indian Divorce Act, 1869 (4 of 1869) (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), the word "Indian" shall be omitted.
3. Amendment of section 3.-In section 3 of the principal Act, clauses (6) and (7) shall be omitted.
4. Substitution of new section for section 10.-For section 10 of the principal Act, the following section shall be substituted, namely:-
"10. Grounds for dissolution of marriage.-(1) Any marriage solemnized whether before or after the commencement of the Indian Divorce (Amendment) Act, 2000 may, on a petition presented to the District Court either by the husband or the wife, be dissolved on the ground that since the solemnization of the marriage, the respondent -
(i) has been guilty of adultery;
(ii) has changed her or his profession of Christianity for the profession of some other religion and gone through a form of marriage with another man or woman, as the case may be;
(iii) has treated the petitioner with such cruelty as to cause a reasonable apprehension in the mind of the petitioner that it would be harmful or injurious for the petitioner to live with the respondent;
(iv) has deserted the petitioner for at least two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.
(2) A wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of her marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground that the husband has, since the solemnization of the marriage, been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality.".
5. Substitution of new section for section 11.-For section 11 of the principal Act, the following section shall be substituted, namely:-
"11. Adulterer or adulteress to be co-respondent.-On a petition for dissolution of marriage presented by a husband or wife on the ground of adultery, the petitioner shall make the alleged adulterer or adulteress a co-respondent, unless the petitioner is excused by the Court from so doing on any of the following grounds, namely:-
(a) that the wife, being the respondent is leading the life of a prostitute or the husband, being respondent is leading an immoral life and that the petitioner knows of no person with whom the adultery has been committed;
(b) that the name of the alleged adulterer or adulteress is unknown to the petitioner although the petitioner has made due efforts to discover it;
(c) that the alleged adulterer or adulteress is dead.".
6. Amendment of section 13.-In section 13 of the principal Act, the last paragraph shall be omitted.
7. Amendment of section 14.-In section 14 of the principal Act, in paragraph 4, the words "in the manner and subject to all the provisions and limitations in sections sixteen and seventeen made and declared" shall be omitted.
8. Amendment of section 15.-In section 15 of the principal Act,-
(a) the words "without reasonable excuse" shall be omitted;
(b) for the words "her adultery and cruelty", the words "her adultery, cruelty or desertion" shall be substituted;
(c) for the words "such cruelty", the words "such such adultery as cruelty" shall be substituted.
9. Amendment of section 16.-In section 16 of the principal Act, the words "not being a confirmation of a decree of a district court" shall be omitted.
10. Substitution of new section for section 17.-For section 17 of the principal Act, the following section shall be substituted, namely:-
"17. Power of High Court to remove certain suits.-During the progress of the suit in the court of the District Judge, any person suspecting that any party to the suit are or have been acting in collusion for the purpose of obtaining a divorce, shall be at liberty, in such manner as the High Court by general or special order from time to time directs, to apply to the High Court to remove the suit under section 8, and the court shall thereupon, if it think fit, remove such suit and try and determine the same as a court of original jurisdiction, and the provisions contained in section 16 shall apply to every suit so removed; or it may direct the District Judge to take such step in respect of the alleged collusion as may be necessary, to enable him to make a decree in accordance with the justice of the case.".
11. Omission of section 17A.-Section 17A of the principal Act shall be omitted.
12. Amendment of section 18.-In section 18 of the principal Act, the words "or to the High Court" shall be omitted.
13. Amendment of section 19.-In section 19 of the principal Act, in the last paragraph, for the words "jurisdiction of the High Court", the words " jurisdiction of the District Court" shall be substituted.
14. Omission of section 20.-Section 20 of the principal Act shall be omitted.
15. Amendment of section 22.-In section 22 of the principal Act, the words " without reasonable excuse" shall be omitted.
16. Amendment of sections 23, 27 and 32.-In sections 23, 27 and 32 of the principal Act, the words " or the High court" shall be omitted.
17. Substitution of new section for section 34.-For section 34 of the principal Act, the following section shall be substituted, namely:-
"34. Damages from adulterer or adulteress.-(1) A husband or wife may, either in a petition for dissolution of marriage or for judicial separation, or in a petition to the district court, limited to such object only, claim damages from any person on the ground, of his having committed adultery with the wife of such petitioner; or her having committed adultery with the husband of such petitioner, as the case may be.
(2) A petition under sub-section (1) shall be served on the alleged adulterer and the wife or the alleged adulteress and the husband, as the case may be, unless the Court dispenses with such services or directs some other service to be substituted.
(3) The damages to be recovered on any petition under sub-section (1) shall be ascertained by the said Court, although the respondent or either of them may not appear.
(4) After the decision has been given, the Court may direct in what manner such damages shall be paid or applied.".