10. Judicial separation.-
1 [(1) Either party to a marriage, whether solemnized before or after the commencement of this Act, may present a petition praying for a decree for judicial separation on any of the grounds specified in sub-section (1) of section 13, and in the case of a wife also on any of the grounds specified in sub-section (2) thereof, as grounds on which a petition for divorce might have been presented.]
(2) Where a decree for judicial separation has been passed, it shall no longer be obligatory for the petitioner to cohabit with the respondent, but the court may, on the application by petition of either party and on being satisfied of the truth of the statements made in such petition, rescind the decree if it considers it just and reasonable to do so.
Consideration by Court
It has also to be kept in mind that before granting the prayer to permanently snap the relationship between parties to the marriage every attempt should be made to maintain the sanctity of the relationship which of importance not only for the individuals or their children but also for the society. It would be too hazardous to lay down a general principle of universal application; Hirachand Srinivas Managaonkar v. Sunanda , AIR 2001 SC 1285.
To constitute desertion, there must be cessation of cohabitation without cause thereof and consent thereto and with an intention to abandon which is wilfully persisted in for the space of the statutory period. A mere reverance of the relation is not sufficient, since there may be separation without desertion and desertion without separation. Continued separation of husband and wife which may be consistent with no intention to wilfully desert, is not desertion within the meaning of statute; Bipin Chandra v. Prabhavati , AIR 1957 SC 176.
1. Subs. by Act 68 of 1976, sec. 4, for sub-section (1) (w.e.f. 27-5-1976). Earlier sub-section (1) was amended by Act 72 of 1956, sec. 2 (w.e.f. 20-12-1956).