Marriage law amendment opposed

Hyderabad: A large number of men in the city, including techies, are opposed to the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, also known as the Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage Act, which is now under consideration.

Despite the rate of divorce and even second marriages being high among IT workers, many want to protect the institution of marriage and say that the Act, if passed, will dilute the essence of Indian marriages. Most men also believe that the amendment is lopsided and will reduce marriage into a money-making game.
Some also feel that this might trigger conversions to other religions, as the Act is applicable to Hindu marriages as well as special marriages under the Special Marriages Act, 1954.

A dharna demanding “Rollback IrBM” was held in the city on Sunday at Dharna Chowk, Indira Park, by the “Save Indian Family Group”. Women, meanwhile, are divided on the issue but many say that the non-equality in challenging a divorce petition filed by wives is not correct.

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“Where the wife is the respondent to a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce under Section 13C, she may oppose the grant of a decree on the ground that the dissolution of marriage will result in grave financial hardship to her and that it would in all the circumstances, be wrong to dissolve the marriage,” states the Act.

“I feel that both the husband and wife should be able to challenge the petition. It is not right, especially when we talk about equality. Also, when it comes to rights on property, it should be given to the wife if she is not doing well for herself and has liabilities. Otherwise, it can become a money-making tool,” said Anjali Mittal, a management professional.

“Under the new Amendment, marriage is made out to be a property deal. The new law will disempower husbands from owning their own hard-earned property in the event of a divorce and it would apply blindly, like a formula on all marriages,” said Praveen Chand from the “Save Indian Family Group”, in Hyderabad.

“A wife can appeal against a divorce petition filed by the husband, but the husband cannot appeal if the petition is filed by the wife. Already, the dowry harassment Section is misused. The proposal to give women 50 per cent of her husband’s property, irrespective of her financial position, can lead to more harassment,” said Mahesh V., lecturer in Osmania Medical College.