Cabinet split on women-friendly divorce bill

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: May 02, 2013 01:45 IST

Nearly three years after it introduced a key bill in Parliament to make the cumbersome process of divorce easier for women, internal differences cropped up within the government on Wednesday over its provisions related to the rights of wives share in marital property in divorce cases.

Following differences between ministries, the matter has been referred to a Group of Ministers, ensuring a further delay, before fresh changes in this bill can be taken up in the Rajya Sabha. 

Titled the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, it seeks to make “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”, as a new ground for seeking divorce and proposes to do away with the prevailing mandatory waiting period before moving a joint motion for ending the marriage by mutual consent.

There were no differences in the cabinet on these new women-friendly provisions for seeking divorce, but there were divergent opinions on whether a wive should be entitled to get a share in the property inherited by her husband in case they decide to seek a divorce. The women and child development ministry also wanted exclusion of the provision which seeks to entitle wives to have a share in the property acquired by their husbands before marriage.

The panel discussed the amendments for over two hours. The GoM would examine the clauses over the next few days and the Bill will come back before the Cabinet, said finance minister P Chidambaram.


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