The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010: Hope It Really Helps Trapped Partners

The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010: Hope It Really Helps Trapped Partners

The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010 has raised a storm in the legal circles and among bodies representing rights of men. The bodies advocating for men’s rights like Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) have lambasted the latest amendment on ground that it promotes misandry in society. Even in legal circles, allowing wife right to oppose the grant of a decree, if she happens to be respondent, on the ground that the dissolution of the marriage will result in grave financial hardship to her but denying the same right to husband is being seen as violation of the principle inherent in Article 14 related with Right to Equality.

In my eyes, the response is just the reverse. I appreciate the amendment and I condemn the media and Men’s Rights Association that they have reacted in immature manner without bothering to having a close look at the Amendment. The Amendment nowhere talks about distribution of husband’s property -an impression generated by SIFF and Indian media. We should learn to appreciate good laws. However, I too have my fears and doubts but they differ hugely from the mainstream media or, for that matter, associations championing the cause of men.

This amendment had became a necessity after Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and the Special Marriage Act, 1954 were modified to meet the new changes in the society. It was presented in the Parliament last year, keeping in mind suggestions made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice. It would be quite interesting to know that demand to include “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage as a Ground of Divorce” came into limelight some three decades ago. That prompted the Law Commission to take note of this issue. It dealt with this issue in its 71st Report titled “The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 — Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage as a Ground of Divorce” which was submitted in April, 1978, and made this recommendation that “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” should be made a new ground for granting a decree of divorce.

The Bill cites two judgement delivered by Supreme Court which acted as a catalyst: Ms. Jorden Diengdeh vs. S.S. Chopra(AIR 1985 SC 935) and Naveen Kohli vs. Neelu Kohli (AIR 2006 SC 1675). Both theses judgments laid emphasis on bringing suitable changes in Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 so that irretrievable breakdown of marriage could serve as an additional ground for divorce. The Law Commission once again came to the fore when it took suo moto cognizance of the issue, presenting its 217th Report titled ‘Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage —Another Ground for Divorce’ to the government in year 2009.

It can be noticed that Congress governments have been pretty much conscious to introduce laws, which give an upper hand to weaker sex so that it can be seen as champion of women’s rights. It’s very much similar to its approach in the case of minorities, which it tries to woo with anti constitutional measures. The same Congress government miserably failed to protect the sanctity of important Constitutional bodies like Governor of States and Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). After all, how dare CAG came to point out irregularities in the allocation of radio spectrum? No need to talk about role of governors who turned out to be puppets instead of acting as bridge between Centre and States. It also weakened Judiciary by making it in constant conflict with Parliament over its power to interpret the laws in independent manner. The Congress governments in subtle ways have always tried to weaken all the institutions that came to curb its lust for power. Of late, we find that it’s chiefly focused to appease minorities and women. One can easily sense why it’s so? It’s because these two constitute its vote bank. It’s neither bothered about quality of life nor its interested in making the nation on right track. How else can one justify the way it dragged important institutions into controversy- the latest being army row?

The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010: Hope It Really Helps Trapped Partners

Let’s grasp this fact very well that all dubious laws have been framed by Congress government in the name of good intentions. The same laws created with good intentions become so terrible that Supreme Court Court is left with no other option other than to treat the Dowry Act as instrument of legal terrorism. The SC/ST Act is another draconian law that has left deep scars on the societal structure operating in India. The point is if laws are allowed to operate in the flawed system they do not serve the purpose for which they have been created. They become medium to harass and frustrate the right people. The better way to improve the society is not only have good laws but also have a system that makes implementation of the laws in proper way.

Coming to the latest amendment made in Marriage Act, it’s good that government is conscious that divorce petitions if get trapped in the battle of egos hurt the interest of both the parties interested in quick separation. What it fails to recognize that granting only one side to oppose the petition, the wife, would only make the life of husband miserable, who is already reeling under many other flawed laws. It’s highly shocking that despite noticing trend in previous laws – the gross misuse of provisions providing upper hand to women- the government grants women the power to oppose such petitions in the name that ” dissolution of the marriage will result in grave financial hardship”. However, it conveniently forgets that dissolution is equally painful and shocking, emotionally as well as financially, for men community? Why have been they denied the chance to oppose the petition on the same ground ?

It’s not hard to ascertain that government is not ready to accept the new changes that have hit the Indian society. For instance, it is not ready to believe that women are highly aggressive and violent in our times, and, therefore, make necessary changes in Domestic Violence Act. Psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty in one of the news items published recently says ” Domestic violence by women is grossly underreported as the law is heavily weighed against men.” It would be interesting to see when is Law Commission going to wake up and take suo moto cognizance of new behavioral patterns in women and make necessary changes in laws related with them? The problem with Law making bodies is that they deal with issues in narrow terms and hence the laws framed often miss the mark. The other point is bit complex in nature. The Women’s Commission in tandem with Women’s Rights activists and NGOs promotes emancipation of women, which has created more room for individualistic traits in women with heightened ego.

It’s really strange that we are creating more grounds of separation and, on the other hand, we are equally conscious that divorce becomes an easy task. Instead of making quality of life better, we are manufacturing new grounds of separation. On top of it, the flawed laws that ignore the abusive nature of women, the painful ignorance about the fact that men can be silent sufferers and the deep rooted prejudices which readily presume men guilty and women a holy cow have only led to collapse of family structure in India. It’s better that we device ways and means to ensure union and smooth relationship than ensuring easy divorce. Anyway, this amendment needs to be welcomed as it , at least, provides the trapped partners a chance to start new lives again than being engaged in endless battle. One hopes that it is not misused by the shrewd wives to manipulate and dictate terms.

The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010: Hope It Really Helps Trapped Partners


The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010

Congress Governments At The Centre Always Weakened The Constitutional Bodies!

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24 responses

  1. Hope you have seen my latest article

    Media hype is about the RE-DRAFTED bill, not the original one which was not harmful. All our laws when introduced is fair to all genders but when it goes through the feminist offices it gets skewed!

    The RE-DRAFTED bill is said to have included the property rights but unless we pull the copy of the bill we are unclear about what exactly it is and how harmful it is. Media is conditioning the public to believe that the law has already been enacted, which is totally false. It has to go through several parliamentary process before it gets enacted. Men should wake up and fight for their rights NOW, not LATER.

    1. @Prassoon

      Rest assured…I rarely miss your articles…Just see I have posted link of your article in my reference list.

      The point is that media and other organisations should make right noises instead of creating another series of confusion. But let’s challenge if there arises property division.

  2. Thanks Personal Concerns that you showed interest in the article..

  3. Rajesh Kumar, Advocate Delhi High Court, wrote:

    “We, The International Association of Masculinists, stand united with you, our Indian Brothers, against this despotic system of gender biased tyranny at the hands of the Indian Government. We stand against and in absolute defiance of misandry in all its forms. These heinous injustices attacking Indian Men, which ignore international practice and human rights, are an attack on all Men globally. Know that we, your brothers, stand unwaveringly with you to see an end to gender biased and misandric laws such as these.

    Thank You.

    Governing Body of The International Association of Masculinists–the-international-association-of-masculinists-denounces-indias-new-gender-biased-divorce-laws


    @Rajesh Kumar:

    Thanks Rajesh Kumarji..Your support is so encouraging.. Hope there is more light in this regard.. Let the future society have respect for dignity of both the sexes instead of having a society that survives on anti-human values.

  4. Thanks to Lalita Jha for appreciating the article…

  5. Lalita Jha, New Delhi, said:

    Why do breakups hurt so much, even when the relationship is no longer good? A divorce or breakup is painful because it represents the loss, not just of the relationship, but also of shared dreams and commitments. Romantic relationships begin on a high note of excitement and hope for the future. When these relationships fail, we experience profound disappointment, stress, and grief. A breakup or divorce launches us into uncharted territory. Everything is disrupted: your routine and responsibilities, your home, your relationships with extended family and friends, and even your identity. A breakup brings uncertainty about the future. What will life be like without your partner? Will you find someone else? Will you end up alone? These unknowns often seem worse than an unhappy relationship………..


    My response to Lalitaji:

    That’s why we warned that this emancipation of women, if not directed well, would lead to a situation wherein husband and wife would be more like competitors than being each other’s partner..

    I am not saying that women should remain confined to stone age values and should not progress but my real intention is that increase in consciousness should not strengthen the ego..If you analyze the break-up stories you will find there is no significant reason involved other than clash of egos. Since law is heavily female oriented, more and more females look to Court rather than settling the disputes withing the confines of home..

    It’s a really pathetic situation..

  6. Chandrapal S Bhasker, University of Birmingham, Great Britain:

    Arvind, correctly pointed out – we as a society are preparing more and more grounds for separation and destruction of the family. This is a deliberate move to re-model Indian society on the prototypes of a western consumerist/capitalist system – where each and every person is nothin but an individual – ready to consume and produce. This cannot happen until India/South Asia/Black nations/nations retain their communitarian nature i.e. if economics is given the backseat to economic success and beliefs that the family comes first before individuals economic desires, people will invest in collective well-being of the community rather than becoming participants of the rat race.

    Since women’s (in general) association with men is primarily for economic (and social) gains i.e. an average woman marries a man who earns more than her and carries higher social status, the best way to liquidate Indian society into a western corporate-consumerist-capitalist system is provide the same social and economic incentives to the women to leave the community/family sphere.


    My response to Chandrapal S Bhaskerji:

    I am so glad that you responded in such a conscious way.. I just wish to state that a tub can never be filled if it’s leaking at some point…Fix all the holes..Same way if you think laws are the solutions to have a better society than that’s sheer illusion.. You have seen in past how Dowry Act and DV act brought in to save the harassed wives turned into an instrument to harass the innocent husbands..The culprit moved freely in outside world whereas innocent husbands languished in the jails for years.. You tried to empower women.. It gave rise to class of hyper-conscious women who believed in conflict rather than harmony..

    Good intentions are not enough..Have an atmosphere that’s conductive for perfect materialization of good intentions.. I welcome the amendment, as I feel all the moves striving for better society needs to be welcomed, but I have my fears too. I came to see the good moves under my lens of fears. After all, I have seen the fate of good intentions in past.

  7. Thanks To Rajesh Vakharia, President Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), Nagpur Branch, who came to like this article. In his personal note he said:

    Your article is very well balanced.. I am also unhappy that laws framed with good intentions rarely yielded good results..


    My response to Rajeshji:

    So happy that people who really matter came to read my post with thought provoking remarks..


  8. Thanks to people who are fighting for the cause of men. Thanks to all of them including Aniruddh NGji, Mumbai and Prakash Thakre , Nagpur, who read this article and spread the word in right circles.

  9. Rajesh Vakharia said:

    Expression of freedom to make a remark is not a crime… After all , Supreme Court too made a remark that a 498a is promoting legal terrorism and DV act has been clumsily drafted. This law has been also drafted for extortion of money from husbands…Only time would prove about the purpose it really came to serve..

    My response to Rajeshji:

    I too have similar apprehensions that it might yield same results as we are witnessing in case of DV Act and Dowry Act..

  10. Mukesh Tiwary, Sr. Administrator at Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital,Patna, said:

    Law makers have gone mad,they have forgotten that there is also a living being called MEN

    My response to Mukesh Tiwaryji:

    Very well said..Men are disposable commodity now..Use and throw !!! Why to take note of their pains, worries, problems and dilemmas ? Let them suffer in isolation. Let them die unheard and unsung.. Kudos to female liberation !!

  11. RK Singhji, CEO (STEEL AND POWER) ( at SPR Group, Ranchi, said:

    Nowadays social factor became negligible and mony matters taken over in the society. Lotof regulations/ acts/law are contrary to each other and even danger for society and human if seen in depth. most misused law is Atrocity Act, Dowry Act, succession acts/rules for religion etc.

    My response to RK Singhji:

    I need to repeat my own words that I have stated in my article:

    “The point is if laws are allowed to operate in the flawed system they do not serve the purpose for which they have been created. They become medium to harass and frustrate the right people. The better way to improve the society is not only have good laws but also have a system that makes implementation of the laws in proper way.”

    …..It’s really strange that we are creating more grounds of separation and, on the other hand, we are equally conscious that divorce becomes an easy task. Instead of making quality of life better, we are manufacturing new grounds of separation. …It’s better that we device ways and means to ensure union and smooth relationship than ensuring easy divorce. “

  12. Ajay Kumar Gupta said:

    Husband and wife however busy they may be ,should take morning walk or tea together .very simple formula, but it works.

    I talked about morning. Because in the morning because in the mornings ,before we start our Dailey routine,our mind is devoid of our time to reconcile,rethink,rediscover any lost or breaking relationship.

    My response to Ajayji:

    Right you are…Sadly, modern life style even does not permit that..It only permits depression, terrible mood swings, harsh words.. Words of love , a deep smile and a wholehearted laughter have gone missing in our times..


    Thanks Himanshu B. Pandeyji for making your presence felt on this post..

  13. Lalita Jhaji said:

    Even the most problem-riddled marriage need not end in divorce, there are many ways to help you if your are looking into how to save your marriage, and they can work if properly given the chance. True, a couple must work hard when looking into how to save your marriage, and they must be totally committed to making the marriage work, but it can be done
    A lot of things can threaten a marriage. Both internal and external factors can put pressure on the relationship. Boredom, monotony, ‘the seven-year itch’, loss of intimacy, and communication problems are internal problems, while an affair, the in-laws, and pressure from work are some external sources of marital tension. Often, the problem is a combination of different things, or an accumulation of many problems that led into one another…..!!!

    My response to Lalitaji:

    You have elucidated your views quite succinctly.. I just need to say as long as media, bra-burning feminists and misguided law makers don’t stop projecting wrong concepts, all in the name of empowering women, nothing exceptional will be achieved. False sense of well being, engineered by the vested market forces, has shattered all the core values like fidelity and honesty.

    On one hand, you want that couples should exhibit high degree of trust in each other and , on the other hand, we find some high profile female editors finding secrets of togetherness in extramarital affairs and suggesting that they are good for relationships !! It’s not surprising that family courts are now virtually chock-a-block with frustrated couples.

  14. In response to my question asked in a lighter vein ” What about those couples who have night hours in offices ?” I got a response from Ajayji.

    Ajay Kumar Gupta said: ” Most cases of separations might have been reported in these night working couples,because they might neither have time for emotional nor for physical bonding.”

  15. Thanks to Rajesh Kumar Pandeyji, Advocate at Allahabad High Court and Legal Correspondent, The Hindustan Times, Roy Rockman Henderson, Mra Johny G, Leopold Mominji, Mra Chetan Joshiji, Heeren Pandya, Dharmendra Sharmaji, Mra Viragji, Bangalore, Akash Kumarji, Neeti Vashishtji, Kana Gopalj,President at ALiVE Singapore, Uttam Sonaparkheji and Mra Joyantoji for liking the post..

  16. Sandesh Chopdekar said:

    As always, extremely thoughtful. Kudos Arvindji.


    My response to Sandeshji:

    I always wished to be a simple guy..My simplicity was hijacked by complexities around me..The cruel experiences, the transformation from simple to complex person, the shattering of dreams and many other undefined experiences made me a writer..My writing is an attempt to have total identification with my lost innocence.. These words in my article are shedding of worn out layers over my real self..

  17. ‎Kumar Vidrohiji, New Delhi, said:

    Aadmi ek khilauna hai.

    My response to Kumar Vidrohi:

    Mitti Ka Bhi Hai Kuch Mol..Insaan Ki Keemat Kuch Bhi Nahi..

  18. Thanks Stellamarrji for making your presence felt on this page.

  19. @Bach

    So happy to see that you came to read and like the post..

    1. Thanks “Centre for Men’s Rights” for mentioning my article in your list of articles recommended for reading on this issue..

  20. […] The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010: Hope It Really Helps Trapped Partners ( […]

    1. Thanks Advocate M M Mohanji for making this article a source of reference in your article’s reference list..

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