The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday objected to certain provisions of a bill, which seeks to make divorce easier for women. The party said that the bill, if passed in its present form, would do more injustice to women.
Arun Jaitley, leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, said irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a new ground for divorce in the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill appeared to be included without a proper understanding of its implications.
“Effectively if you put the irretrievable breakdown without a financial support system as a ground, the inevitable consequence is going to be — as mostly women are sufferers — that once a husband uses this ground… the wife will be permanently dependant on her parents,” he said.
Jaitley said in countries where grounds of divorce include irretrievable breakdown of marriage, “the support system provided to the wife is extremely strong. In fact, in some Western countries, if you ask for a divorce on these grounds, you will have to part with a substantial part of your wealth”.
He warned law minister Salman Khurshid that some provisions of the bill “will create hardships for women and encourage misuse and exploitation of women”. If one of the parties creates the “conditions for divorce”, the other would be forced to accept and apply for divorce, Jaitley said, adding that it would only benefit the creator of the condition.
Senior BJP leader Najma Heptulla opposed doing away with of the six-month mandatory cooling-off period before both the parties can apply for divorce through mutual consent.
“Until we give enough protection to women, this could prove to be very dangerous for them,” she said.
Khurshid agreed to take up further discussions on the bill. The opposition MPs sought more time for the purpose.