Govt redrafts bill on marriage laws

Accepting four key recommendations of a Parliamentary panel, government has redrafted a bill on marriage laws which now seeks to give share to women in their husbands' property acquired after marriage. 

The amended bill, which is likely to come up for Cabinet's approval this week, also aims at giving equal rights to biological and adopted children. The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 which was introduced in the Upper House in August two years ago, was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel. 

Supporting the bill which sought to make "irretrievable breakdown of marriage" a new ground for grant of divorce, the panel had in March last year opposed doing away with the prevailing waiting period before moving a joint motion for annulling marriage. 

Partially accepting the recommendation, the government has now decided that the cooling off period will be decided by the courts. 

According to the redrafted bill, adopted children will have rights on par with biological children of a couple in case the parents goes for a divorce. 

The government has also accepted the recommendation of the Parliamentary committee that women should have a share in the property of her husband in case of a divorce. 

But the quantum of share will be decided by the courts on case-by-case basis. According to the Cabinet Note, while a wife can oppose a husband's plea for a divorce under the new "irretrievable breakdown of marriage" clause, the husband will have no such rights to oppose if the wife moves court on the same grounds

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