AP HIGH COURT RULES TO REGULATE PROCEEDINGS UNDER THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955

1. Definitions.—
(i) ‘Act’ means the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (Act of 25 of 1955).
(ii) ‘Court’ means the Court mentioned in Section 3 (b) of the Act.

2. Form of proceedings.—The following proceedings under the Act shall be entitled by original petitions.
(i) under Section 9 for restitution of conjugal rights,
(ii) under sub-section (1) of Section 10 for judicial separation;
(iii) under sub-section (2) of Section 10 for rescinding a decree for judicial separation;
(iv) under Section 11 for declaring a marriage null and void;
(v) under Section 12 for annulment of a marriage by a decree of nullity;
(vi) under Section 13 for divorce;
(vii) under Section 26 to make order and provisions with respect to the custody, maintenance and education of children.

3. Other proceedings.—Every other proceeding subsequent to the petition shall be by an interlocutory application.

4. Cause title.—Every petition, application, affidavit, decree or order under the Act shall be headed by a cause title in Form I and shall set forth the provisions of the Act under which it is made.

5. Petition.—

(a) Every petition under the Act shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the entry relating to the marriage in question in the Hindu Marriage Register maintained under Section 8 of the Act, where such marriage has been registered under the Act.
(b) Every petition for divorce on any grounds, mentioned in clauses (i) and (ii) of Section 13 (1A). of the Act1 shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the decree for judicial separation or for restitution of conjugal rights, as the case may be.

6. Contents of petition.—(1) Every petition shall state—
(a) the place and the date of the marriage.
(b) the names of the parties and their occupation;
(c) the place and address where the parties reside or last resided together within the jurisdiction of the Court;
(d) the names of the children, if any, of the marriage together with their dates of birth or ages;
(e) if prior to the date of the petition there has been any proceeding under the Act between the parties to the petition, the full particulars thereof;
1. Now Clauses (i) and (ii) of Section 13(1A).
(f) if the petition is for restitution of conjugal rights, the date on or from which and the circumstances under which the respondent withdrew from the society of the petitioner.
(g) if the petition is for judicial separation, matrimonial offence alleged or other grounds upon which the relief is sought, together with full particulars thereof so far as such particulars are known to the petitioner, e.g.—
(i) in the case of alleged desertion, the date on and from which and the circumstances under which it began;
(ii) in the case of cruelty or s*xual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse, the specific acts of cruelty or s*xual intercourse and the occasion when and places where such acts were committed together with the name and address of the person or persons with whom the respondent had s*xual intercourse;
(iii) in the case of virulent form of leprosy or venereal disease in a communicable form, when such ailment began to manifest itself, the nature and the period of the curative steps taken together with the name and address of the person who was treated for such ailment and in the case of venereal disease that it was not contracted from the petitioner;
(iv) in the case of unsoundness of mind, the time when such unsoundness began to manifest itself, nature and period of any curative steps taken together with the name and address of the person who was treated for such unsoundness of mind;
(h) if the petition is for divorce or judicial separation the matrimonial offence alleged or other grounds upon which the relief is sought together with the full particulars thereof so far as such particulars are known to the petitioner, e.g.
(i) in the case of adultery, the specific acts of adultery and the occasion when and place where such acts were committed together with the name and address of the person with whom such adultery was committed;
(ii) in the case of incurable unsoundness of mind the time when such unsoundness began to manifest itself, the nature and period of any curative steps taken together with the name and address of the person who was treated for such unsoundness of mind;
(iii) in the case of virulent and incurable form of leprosy or venereal disease in a communicable form, when such ailment began to manifest itself, the nature and the period of any curative steps taken together with the name and address of the person who was treated for such ailment;
(iv) in the case of presumption of death, the last place where the parties lived together, date when and the place where the respondent was last seen or heard of as alive and the steps, if any, taken to ascertain his or her whereabouts;
(i) if the petition is for a decree of nullity of marriage on the ground specified in clause (c) or clause (d) of sub-section (1) of Section 12 of the Act, the time when the facts relied on were discovered and whether or not marital intercourse with the consent of the petitioner took place after the discovery of the said facts.
(2) The petition shall set out at the end, the relief or reliefs sought including any claim for.
(i) custody, care and maintenance of children;
(ii) permanent alimony and maintenance;
(iii) costs.
Where a claim is made under clause (ii) above, the petition shall specify the annual or capital value of the respondent’s property, the amount of his or her annual earnings and other particulars relating to his or her financial resources and particulars relating to the petitioner’s income and other property.

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7. Contents of written statement.—Every written statement in answer to a petition for restitution of conjugal rights shall set out the particulars as far as may be set out in clauses (g), (h) and (i) of sub-rule (1) of Rule 6.

8. Co-respondent.—(1) Where a husband’s petition alleges adultery on the part of respondent, the alleged adultery shall, if he is living, be made a co-respondent in the petition.
Provided, however, that in case the adulterer’s name, identity or where­abouts are unknown to the petitioner in spite of reasonable enquiries made and the Court is satisfied that it is just and expedient so to do, it shall, on the application of the petitioner, dispense with the naming of the co-respondent.
(2) In every petition under Section 13(2) (i) of the Act, the petitioner shall make “the other wife” mentioned in that Section a co-respondent.
(3) In every petition under Section 11 of the Act, on the ground that the condition in Section 5(i) is contravened, the petitioner shall make the spouse, alleged to be living at the time of the marriage, a co-respondent.

9. Damages and costs against co-respondent.—(1) Where damages are claimed, the Court shall assess the damages and direct in what manner the damages, if any, awarded shall be paid or applied.
(2) The Court may also direct the whole or any part of the costs of the petition shall be paid by the co-respondent:
Provided that the co-respondent shall not be ordered to pay petitioner’s costs—
(a) if the respondent was, at the time of the adultery, living apart from her husband and leading the life of a prostitute; or
(b) if the co-respondent had not, at the time of the adultery, reason to believe the respondent to be a married woman.
(3) The Court may assess damages and make an order for payment thereof or of costs notwithstanding that the respondent or the co-respondent or both of them have remained ex parte.

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10. Application for maintenance pendente lite and for permanent alimony and maintenance.—(a) Every application for maintenance pendente lite, permanent alimony and maintenance, or for custody, maintenance and education expenses of minor children, shall state the average monthly incomes of the petitioner and the respondent, the sources of these incomes, particulars of other movable and immovable property owned by them, the number of dependants on the petitioner and the respondent and the names and ages of such dependants.
(b) Such application shall be supported by an affidavit of the applicant.

11. Application for leave under Section 14 of the Act.—(1) Where any party to a marriage desires to present a petition for divorce within one year of such marriage, he or she shall obtain leave of the Court under Section 14 of the Act, an ex parte application made to the Court in which the petition for divorce is intended to be filed.
(2) The application shall be accompanied by the petition intended to be filed bearing the prescribed court-fee and in accordance with the rules. The application shall be supported by an affidavit made by the petitioner setting out the particulars of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent on the basis of which leave is sought.
(3) The evidence in such an application may, unless the Court otherwise directs, be given by affidavit.
(4) When the Court grants leave, the petition shall be deemed to have been duly filed on the date of the said order. The petitioner within a week of the date of the said order shall file sufficient number of copies of application for leave and order of the Court thereon and of the petition for divorce for service upon the respondents in the petition.

12. Service of copy of application for and order granting leave on the respondents and procedure after Service.- (1) When the Court grants leave under the proceeding rule, a copy of the application for leave and order granting leave shall be served on each of the respondents along with the notice of the petition for divorce.
(2) (a) When the respondent desires to contest the petition for divorce on the ground that leave for filing the petition has been erroneously granted or improperly obtained, he or she shall set forth in his or her written statement the grounds with particulars on which the grant of leave is to be contested.
(b) The Court may, if it so deems fit, frame, try and decide the issue as to the propriety of the leave granted as a preliminary issue.
(c) The Court may at the instance of either party, order the attendance for examination or cross-examination of any deponent in the application for leave under the preceding rule.

13. When a petition is admitted, the chief ministerial officer of the Court assigns a distinctive number to the petition and all subsequent proceedings on the petition shall bear that number.

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14. Along with the petition the petitioner shall furnish a copy thereof for service on the respondent and if a co-respondent has been impleaded, an additional copy for service on him, together with the fee prescribed under the Andhra Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1956, for service of notices.

15. (1) Notice of the petition shall be in Form No. II for settlement of issues and shall require the respondent and the co-respondent, if one is named in the petition, to enter appearance in person or by pleader and file a written statement not less than seven days before the day appointed therein.
(2) The notice together with a copy of the petition shall be served on the respondent and the co-respondent, if named in the manner prescribed for service of summonses in suits not less than 21 days before the day appointed therein.

16. Transmission of certified copy of the decree.—The Court shall send a certified copy of every decree for divorce or nullity or dissolution of marriage to the Registrar of Marriages in charge of the Hindu Marriage Register, if any.

17. (1) Appeals to the High Court from the decree and orders of the District Court shall be posted before a Bench of two Judges.
(2) Such appeals shall be governed by the rules of the High Court, Appellate Side, as far as they may be applicable.
(3) In every such appeal notice shall be issued to the co-respondent, if any.

FORM NO. I
IN THE COURT OF THE DISTRICT JUDGE
In the City Civil Court, Hyderabad

Original Petition No……of 20…….
In the matter of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
A.B……Petitioner
CD……..Respondent
Petition under Section …….of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and
Rule……..of the Rules under the Hindu Marriage Act.
FORM NO.II
[Rule 15]

IN THE COURT OF THE DISTRICT JUDGE In the City Civil Court, Hyderabad

Original Petition No………of 20……..
In the matter of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955
A.B. …………..Petitioner
CD. ………….Respondent
Petition presented on ……………………
Petition filed on ……………………
Notice issued on ……………………
Whereas on the …………day of………..20……,.the above named petitioner filed a petition against the respondent for (specify the relief) you are hereby required to appear in this Court on the……..day of………20……..at 10.45 a.m.
in the forenoon in person or by pleader duly instructed and able to answer all material questions relating to the above proceeding.
Also take notice that in default of your appearance on the aforesaid day the issues will be settled and the petition heard and determined in your absence. You shall also bring with you or send by your pleader any document which the petitioner desires to inspect and any document on which you intend to rely in support of your defence. You are required to file a written statement in Court on or before the……….day of………20…………
Given under my hand and the seal of this Court on the……….day of. 20………..

District Judge
Chief Judge Note.—
(1) A copy of the petition accompanies this notice.
(2) This notice should be served not less than 21 days before the day fixed above for settlement of issues.
(3) Should you apprehended that your witnesses will not attend of their own accord, you can have summons issued from this Court to compel the attendance of any witness and the production of any document that you have a right to call on the witness to produce on applying to the Court and on depositing the necessary expenses.
This notice has been taken out by Shri…………Advocate/Pleader for the petitioner.

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