The concept of divorce has been traditionally alien to Hindu marriage. In 1955, parliament enacted the HMA [Hindu Marriage Act], allowing divorce. Either spouse may seek dissolution of marriage on grounds of infidelity, cruelty, desertion and conversion, or if the other party has renounced the world, suffers from a mental illness, incurable leprosy or communicable venereal disease.
Divorce is allowed by mutual consent, or if a spouse has been thought to be dead for seven years. Law Commission member Tahir Mahmood agreed with the court’s views. “The law doesn’t conform to the ethos of Hindus. We don’t expect Hindu men or women to charge their spouses with cruelty and seek divorce. Also, the law has certain shortcomings... like, the word cruelty has not been defined,” he said.(daqui)