GROUNDS OF DIVORCE IN INDIAN LAW

The wife has a right to turn down a divorce; she can refuse to divorce even after filing a petition for divorce through mutual consent. Following this, the court will typically dismiss the petition for divorce through mutual consent.

In such a case, as the husband wishes to divorce, he will have to separately petition to the court to grant the divorce. Such a petition can be made by the husband only on certain grounds, listed below.

The court will call upon the husband to prove the ground sought by him for the divorce; the wife will be called to disprove the allegations. If the husband’s allegations are proved, the court would award a divorce, even if the wife does not wish to divorce. If the allegations are found unsubstantiated, the court will dismiss the divorce petition.

GROUNDS OF DIVORCE IN INDIAN LAW

If the husband and wife both are Hindus, the husband may seek a divorce claiming that his wife:
1. Has committed adultery after marriage
2. Has shown cruelty to him or his family
3. Has deserts him for a period of over 2 years
4. Has converted her religion and has ceased to be a Hindu
5. Suffers from an incurable mental disorder
6. Suffers from an incurable form of leprosy
7. Suffers from a communicable venereal disease
8. Has renounced the world by entering any religious order
9. Has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more

If the husband and wife both are Muslims:
The husband may divorce his wife by repudiating the marriage without giving any reason.

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If the husband and wife both are Christians:
A husband may petition for dissolution of the marriage if his wife has committed adultery. In such a case, the husband is required to make the alleged adulterer a co-respondent to the petition, unless otherwise allowed by the court.

If the husband and wife both are Parsis, the husband may seek divorce claiming that his wife:
1. Has refused to have marital intercourse for 1 year after marriage
2. Was pregnant by some person other than the husband at the time of their marriage and (a) the husband was not aware of this fact at the time of the marriage and (b) marital intercourse has not taken place after the husband came to know of this fact
3. Is of unsound mind since the time of the marriage and the husband was not aware of this fact at the time of the marriage
4. Has been incurably of unsound mind for over two years
5. Has shown cruelty to him or his family
6. Has committed adultery, fornication, bigamy, rape or an unnatural offence
7. Has voluntarily caused grievous hurt to him, or has infected him with venereal disease
8. Is convicted to prison for over 7 years for an offence under the IPC
9. Has deserted him for a period of over 2 years
10. Has converted her religion and has ceased to be a Parsi

If the husband and wife both are from separate religions, the husband may seek divorce claiming that his wife:
1. Has committed adultery
2. Is convicted to prison for over 7 years for an offence under the IPC
3. Has shown cruelty to the husband or his family
4. Had deserted him for a period of over 2 years
5. Suffers from an incurable mental disorder
6. Suffers from a communicable venereal disease
7. Suffers from an incurable form of leprosy, not contracted from the husband
8. Has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more

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Sources:
1. Sec. 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
2. Sec. 32 of the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1932
3. Sec. 27 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954

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