ISSN (O) : 2584-1378


AUTHOR’S NAME : Sandeep Kumar Rai
UNIVERSITY - MATS University Raipur



In Hindu law, marriage is considered a sacrament (Sanskara) and a sacred union between two individuals, as well as their families. The concept of marriage in Hindu law is deeply rooted in religious and cultural traditions, with specific rituals and ceremonies associated with it. Here’s a definition of marriage in Hindu law-:

Marriage in Hindu law is a legally recognized union between a man and a woman, solemnized through religious rites and ceremonies prescribed by Hindu customs and traditions. It is considered a lifelong commitment and a sacred bond that forms the foundation of family and society. Hindu marriage is governed by various texts and scriptures, including the Vedas, Smritis, and Dharmashastras, which outline the rights, duties, and obligations of spouses within the marital relationship. Central to the Hindu concept of marriage is the idea of dharma (duty), which encompasses fidelity, mutual respect, and support between husband and wife. The purpose of Hindu marriage is not only the procreation of children but also the fulfillment of spiritual, emotional, and social needs, as well as the preservation of family lineage and traditions. In Hindu law, marriage is not merely a legal contract but a sacred union that is believed to transcend individual lives and continue across multiple lifetimes (Samsara), with the ultimate goal of spiritual growth and liberation (Moksha).

The essential ingredients of marriage encompass the fundamental elements that contribute to the formation and sustenance of a healthy, fulfilling, and legally recognized marital union. While these ingredients may vary across cultures and personal beliefs, they generally include-

  1. Mutual Consent- Both parties willingly agree to enter into the marriage, demonstrating their commitment and intention to form a union.
  2. Legal Formalities- Compliance with legal requirements and formalities, such as obtaining a marriage license or registration, depending on the jurisdiction.
  3. Ceremony and Rituals – The exchange of vows or participation in cultural or religious ceremonies that symbolize the commitment and union between the spouses.
  4. Intent to establish a Marital relationship- The parties intend to establish a legally recognized marital relationship characterized by mutual support, companionship, and shared responsibilities.
  5. Monogamy- Marriage typically involves a commitment to a monogamous relationship, wherein each spouse pledges exclusivity and fidelity to the other.
  6. Consent to the Marital Rights and obligation- Both parties acknowledge and accept the rights and obligations associated with marriage, including financial support, shared property, and mutual respect.
  7. Legal Capacity- Both parties must have the legal capacity to enter into marriage, including being of legal age and having the mental capacity to understand the nature and consequences of marriage.
  8. Absence of prohibited relationship- Parties must not be within prohibited degrees of relationship as per legal and cultural norms, preventing marriages between close relatives.
  9. Intent to establish a Family- Marriage often involves the intention to establish a family unit, including the potential for procreation and raising children.
  10. Social Reorganization- Marriage may also involve social recognition and acceptance of the union by family, friends, and society at large.


Divorce law in India is governed by various acts, primarily the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the Special Marriage Act, 1954, and the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936. Each of these acts applies to specific communities or religious groups, and the procedures for obtaining a divorce may vary slightly depending on the personal laws applicable to the individuals seeking divorce.

  1. Grounds for Divorce

The grounds for divorce vary depending on the personal law applicable to the parties involved. However, common grounds for divorce across different laws include:

  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
  • Desertion
  • Conversion to another religion
  • Mental illness
  • Incurable diseases like leprosy
  • Renunciation of the world (in the case of Hindu Marriage Act)
  1. Mutual Consent Divorce –

Under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act and Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act, couples can seek divorce by mutual consent if they have been living separately for at least one year and mutually agree to dissolve the marriage.

  1. Contested Divorce

If one party is unwilling to divorce or if the grounds for divorce are contested, the process becomes more complex and may involve litigation in family courts.

  1. Procedure

The procedure for obtaining a divorce typically involves filing a petition in the appropriate family court, presenting evidence to support the grounds for divorce, and attending court hearings. The court may also attempt reconciliation between the parties through counseling or mediation.

  1. Maintenance and Child Custody

In divorce proceedings, the court may also address issues related to maintenance (financial support) for spouses and children, as well as child custody and visitation rights.

  1. Interim Relief

During the pendency of the divorce proceedings, either party can seek interim relief, such as temporary maintenance or child custody orders, to address immediate needs.

  1. Appeals

Decisions of family courts regarding divorce can be appealed in higher courts if either party is dissatisfied with the judgment.

It’s important to note that divorce laws in India are complex and may vary based on factors such as religion, personal laws, and specific circumstances of the case. Consulting with a qualified legal professional familiar with family law in India is advisable for individuals considering divorce or involved in divorce proceedings.


The essential elements of divorce law encompass the foundational principles and components that govern the dissolution of marriages. These elements may vary based on legal systems and jurisdictions, but generally include=

  1. Jurisdiction

Divorce law specifies the courts or tribunals that have the authority to hear and decide divorce cases. Jurisdiction may be based on factors such as residency of the parties or where the marriage took place.

  1. Grounds for Divorce –

Most divorce laws recognize specific grounds or reasons for granting a divorce. These grounds vary by jurisdiction but commonly include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, irreconcilable differences, and mental illness.

  1. Petition or Complaint –

The process typically begins with one spouse (the petitioner or plaintiff) filing a petition or complaint for divorce with the appropriate court. The petition outlines the grounds for divorce and may include requests for issues such as child custody, support, and property division.

  1. Service of Process –

The petitioner must ensure that the other spouse (the respondent or defendant) receives notice of the divorce proceedings. This is usually accomplished through formal service of process, where legal documents are delivered to the respondent in accordance with legal requirements.

  1. Response –

The respondent has the opportunity to respond to the divorce petition by filing an answer or response with the court. In contested divorces, the respondent may contest the grounds for divorce or raise counterclaims related to issues such as custody or property division.

  1. Discovery –

Both parties may engage in the discovery process, where they exchange information and evidence relevant to the divorce case. Discovery methods may include requests for documents, interrogatories (written questions), and depositions (oral testimony under oath).

  1. Negotiations and Settlement

Parties may attempt to negotiate a settlement agreement resolving issues such as child custody, support, and division of property. Settlement negotiations may occur informally or through formal mediation or collaborative law processes.

  1. Trail and Hearing

If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the case may proceed to trial or hearing before a judge. At trial, both party’s present evidence and arguments supporting their positions, and the judge makes decisions on contested issues.

  1. Decree of Divorce

If the court grants the divorce, it issues a decree of divorce, formally terminating the marriage. The decree typically addresses issues such as custody, support, and division of property in accordance with applicable laws and the court’s findings.

  1. Enforcement and Implementation

Once the divorce decree is issued, parties are legally obligated to comply with its terms. Enforcement mechanisms may be available to ensure compliance with custody, support, and property division orders.


  1. Grounds for Divorce –

In India

Indian divorce laws recognize various grounds for divorce, including adultery, cruelty, and desertion, conversion to another religion, mental illness, and incurable diseases. Mutual consent divorce is also available under certain circumstances.


In the UK, the sole ground for divorce is irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This can be evidenced by one of five facts: adultery, unreasonable behavior, desertion, separation for two years with consent, or separation for five years without consent.

  1. Procedure –

In India

Divorce proceedings in India involve filing a petition in the appropriate family court, presenting evidence, and attending court hearings. Reconciliation efforts, mediation, and counseling may also be part of the process.


In the UK, divorce proceedings start with one spouse (the petitioner) filing a divorce petition with the court. The other spouse (the respondent) has an opportunity to respond. If there are no disputes, the divorce can proceed to the decree nisi and then the decree absolute.

  1. No fault Divorce

In India

Indian divorce laws predominantly follow a fault-based system, where specific grounds for divorce must be proven.


The UK has moved towards a no-fault divorce system, where irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is the sole ground, and there’s less emphasis on proving fault.

  1. Maintenance and Final Settlement

In India

Indian divorce laws address issues of maintenance (alimony) for spouses and children, as well as property division. Maintenance is often awarded based on factors such as the financial situation of the parties and the needs of the children.


UK divorce law also addresses financial matters, including spousal maintenance, child maintenance, and the division of assets. The court considers factors such as the parties’ financial resources, earning capacity, and standard of living.

  1. Timeframe

      In India

             Divorce proceedings in India can vary widely in duration depending on factors such as court backlog and complexity of the case. Mutual consent divorces can be quicker.


In the UK, the divorce process typically takes several months from start to finish, though it can be expedited in cases of mutual consent.

  1. Child Custody

In India

Indian divorce laws address issues of child custody, visitation rights, and guardianship. The welfare of the child is the paramount consideration.


Child custody arrangements in the UK focus on the best interests of the child. Parents may share joint custody or one parent may have primary custody, depending on what is deemed best for the child.

While both Indian and UK divorce laws aim to facilitate the dissolution of marriages in a fair and orderly manner, differences in legal systems, cultural norms, and societal values result in variations in their respective legal frameworks and procedures.


Article 142 of the Indian Constitution empowers the Supreme Court of India with special powers to pass any order or decree necessary for doing “complete justice” in any case or matter pending before it. However, Article 142 itself does not specifically address divorce matters. Instead, it provides the Supreme Court with broad discretionary powers to issue orders or decrees to ensure justice in cases before it.

In the context of divorce, while Article 142 does not explicitly grant the Supreme Court authority to grant divorces, it can still play a role in certain divorce-related matters. For example:

  1. Special Circumstances

In exceptional cases where the Supreme Court deems it necessary to intervene to ensure justice or protect the rights of parties involved in a divorce case, it may invoke Article 142 to issue specific orders or directions.

  1. Resolution of Dispute

If a divorce case involves complex legal issues or disputes that require resolution beyond the jurisdiction of lower courts, the Supreme Court may exercise its powers under Article 142 to provide guidance or clarification on such matters.

  1. Enforcement of Decree

In cases where lower courts have already granted divorce decrees, but there are issues related to enforcement or compliance, parties may approach the Supreme Court for relief under Article 142.

  1. Supervisory Authority

The Supreme Court, being the apex court of the country, has supervisory authority over all courts in India. In divorce cases where lower courts have erred in their judgments or orders, parties may seek recourse to the Supreme Court under Article 142 for appropriate remedies or corrective measures.

While Article 142 grants the Supreme Court wide discretionary powers, its application in divorce cases is subject to the principles of natural justice, fairness, and the specific facts and circumstances of each case. Additionally, the Supreme Court typically exercises caution and restraint in using its extraordinary powers under Article 142, ensuring that they are employed judiciously and in the interest of justice.

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