New Delhi: The law and justice ministry has proposed a change in the law to reduce the separation period for Christian couples seeking to file for divorce by mutual consent.
Sources said the ministry has drafted a Cabinet note to amend the 1869 Divorce Act in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling and demands by the community. It proposes to halve the separation period for couples from two years to one year before a petition can be filed for divorce by mutual consent, bringing it in line with the laws for other communities.
The separation period under the Hindu Marriage Act, Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act and Special Marriage Act is one year. Section 10A(1) of the Divorce Act, added by a 2001 amendment, says a couple seeking divorce should be living separately for “two years or more”.
A Supreme Court ruling last April questioned the existing law, asking: "Should Christians stay separated for two years when the period for others is one year? It doesn't make sense to us. It is a pure question of law and you (government) should have acted on your own," a bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen and A.M. Sapre had observed....