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Further Amendments to the Hindu Marriage Act - July 2013

The amendments to the Hindu Marriage Act Bill may finally see the light of day, after three years of debates. The Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by the defense minister Mr.A.K.Anothony have attempted putting forth feasible options to those amendments that have been especially prickly in nature.

The suggestions are as follows:

  • The wife will now have a share in both the inherited and inheritable property of the husband post divorce. The exact share she receives has been left to the discretion of the sitting judge. The earlier recommendations did not cover ancestral property and only referred to property that had been acquired during the marriage.
  • As per a new clause 13F, if the inherited or ancestral property cannot be divided, the wife will have to be paid adequate compensation based on both the valuation of the property and by calculating the husbands share in the abovementioned property.
  • The judge will make a decision on compensation based on the entire picture i.e. the disposable income of husband and wife, primary custody of the children, movable and immovable property as well as inherited property. This seems a suitable option as the earlier recommended amendment was for an equal division of all properties irrespective of who got custody of the child or children.
  • Additionally in cases where divorce has been sought on mutual consent, the judge can grant divorce to one of the party’s involved after a period of three years, irrespective of the stance of either of the people at that point. In a lot of cases one of the party’s may change their mind leading to harassment of the other party. With this amendment the judge can now grant divorce after three years and even in the absence of one party.

All these amendments hopefully will get passed in Parliament once it is submitted on August 5, 2013.

 

Author: Dimple Chainani, Relationship Manager.