On Monday, the latest Supreme Court judgment on irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for divorce because marriage is considered as “sacramental” and it is supposed to be irretrievable breakdown of marriage under Hindu Law.
The Bench of Justices S.K Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy observed in the Judgment, “Society at large does not accept divorce, given the heightened importance of marriage as a social institution in India. Or at least, it is far more difficult for women to retain social acceptance after a decree of divorce.
This coupled with law’s failure to guarantee economic and financial security to women in the event of a breakdown of marriage is stated to be the reason for the legislature’s reluctance to introduce irretrievable breakdown as a ground for divorce.”
The irretrievable breakdown of marriage examples, the court noted that the repeated allegations and litigation against a spouse amount to cruelty which is a ground of divorce. The judgment came in a case in which the wife left on the wedding day itself. However, The Supreme Court said that she had gone on to initiate complaints and allegations against her estranged spouse.
The Court further said, ” This conduct shows the disintegration of marital unity and thus disintegration of the marriage. In fact, there was no initial integration itself that would allow disintegration afterward. The fact that there have been continued allegations and litigation proceedings and that can amount to cruelty is an aspect taken note of by this court.”
The court also noted that “A marriage is more than a seemingly simple union between two individuals. As a social institution, all marriages have legal, economic, cultural, and religious ramifications… Families are arranged on the idea of a mutual expectation of support and amity which is meant to be experienced and acknowledged amongst its members.
Once this amity breaks apart, the results can be highly devastating and stigmatizing. The primary effects of such breakdown are felt especially by women.” However, the Court dismissed the marriage on both the grounds of irretrievable breakdown of marriage and cruelty.
Author: Papri Nath