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Marriage laws in India set to become women-friendly

Jul 18, 2013

One of the recommendations set to be approved by govt includes provision of sufficient compensation to a woman from her husband’s ancestral property.

Marriage laws will now become more women-friendly with the government approving a slew of recommendations by a Group of Ministers (GoM), including providing for sufficient compensation to a woman from her husband's ancestral property in case of divorce.

India’s Cabinet approved on Wednesday, the recommendations of the GoM on Marriage Laws Amendment Bill.

One of the key issues the GoM was asked to decide was whether a court can work out "sufficient compensation" for a woman from her husband's ancestral property in case of divorce which takes place on the grounds of "irretrievable breakdown of marriage."

The GoM, set up recently to decide on the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, was also asked to take a view on whether a judge can exercise discretion in granting divorce if one of the partners does not move a second 'joint application' for divorce with mutual consent.

While the bill has a provision for share in a husband's self-acquired property, a new clause - 13 f - was discussed by the GoM headed by Defence Minister A K Antony.

It says if the ancestral property cannot be divided, then the woman should get sufficient compensation by calculating husband's share in it. The amount of the compensation can be worked out by the court hearing the divorce case.

The GoM also discussed the issue of allowing courts to decide on doing away with the mandatory six-month waiting period for couples seeking divorce through a joint petition by mutual consent.

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