No more parting from spouses on the ground of “leprosy” !!!

The Legislative department of the Ministry of Law and Justice notified The Personal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2019 which received the assent of the President on 21st February 2019. As per this amendment act, now “Leprosy” is no more a ground of divorce.

  • Divorce Act, 1869

As per Section 10: Grounds for dissolution of marriage.

(1) Any marriage solemnized, whether before or after the commencement of the Indian Divorce (Amendment) Act, 2001, may, on a petition presented to the District Court either by the husband or the wife, be dissolved on the ground that since the solemnization of the marriage, the respondent

(iv) has, for a period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition, been suffering from a virulent and incurable form of leprosy; or

Now, by the virtue of The Personal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2019, the Section 10(1)(iv) of the Divorce Act, 1869 shall be omitted.

  • Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939

As per Section 2: Grounds for decree for dissolution of marriage.

A woman married under Muslim law shall be entitled to obtain a decree for the dissolution of her marriage on any one or more of the following grounds, namely:

(vi) that the husband has been insane for a period of two years or is suffering from leprosy or a virulent venereal disease;

Now, by the virtue of The Personal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2019, the words “leprosy or” in the Section 2(vi) of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 shall be omitted.

  • Special Marriage Act, 1954

As per Section 27: Divorce

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and to the rules made thereunder, a petition for divorce may be presented to the District Court either by the husband or the wife on the ground that the respondent-

(g) has been suffering from leprosy, the disease not having been contracted from the petitioner; or

Now, by the virtue of The Personal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2019, the Section 27(1)(g) of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 shall be omitted.

  • Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

As per Section 13: Divorce

(1) Any marriage solemnized, whether before or after the commencement of the Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party-

(iv) has been suffering from a virulent and incurable form of leprosy; or

Now, by the virtue of The Personal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2019, the Section 13(1)(iv) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 shall be omitted.

  • Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956

As per Section 18: Maintenance of wife

(2) A Hindu wife shall be entitled to live separately from her husband without forfeiting her claim to maintenance,-

(c) if he is suffering from a virulent form of leprosy;

Now, by the virtue of The Personal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2019, the Section 18(2)(c) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 shall be omitted.

Copy of notification: The Personal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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