India Rajya Sabha Passes Marriage Laws Amendment Bill

Rajya Sabha passes marriage laws amendment bill

Newstrackindia - New Delhi, Mon, 26 Aug 2013

New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS)
The Rajya Sabha Monday passed a bill to amend marriage laws which seeks to provide for irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for divorce, subject to certain safeguards to the wife and affected children.

The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 was passed by voice vote. It seeks to amend the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and the Special Marriages Act, 1954.

Replying to the brief debate, Law Minister Kapil Sibal said there was need to protect women's rights as the society was still patriarchal.

"So let's be clear. Legislations are a message that MPs are on the side of women in a patriarchal society. With this intent we bring this bill," he said.

Speaking on the amendments, Sibal said the share of wife in husband's self-acquired property will be decided by court. He said the wife also has a share in the movable property of her husband.

He said the wife does not have share in inherited property but its value will be taken into account while fixing the amount of alimony to her.

He said either husband or wife can cite irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground of divorce.

There have been concerns that provisions of earlier marriage acts were inadequate in cases of irretrievable breakdown of marriage.