Due to differences in the opinions of the Law Ministry and Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), the Union Cabinet on Wednesday failed to clear the amendment to the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill and referred the matter to a Group of Ministers.
According to senior officials in WCD, the differences came up on the matter dealing with a woman’s right to marital property in case of divorce.
The Law Ministry had suggested that a woman be given a share in the residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable premises, in case of divorce, but the WCD ministry objected to this clause.
“We had put our point across stating that a woman after divorce should have right over property acquired after marriage only. We also noted that the woman should not be entitled to property acquired by the husband before marriage, and inheritable property. This clear set of guidelines about her rights, we feel, will protect the woman in the long run,” said a senior official at WCD.
Meanwhile, asserting that “different view points do not mean difference among members of the Cabinet,” Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said: “Views are expressed in a Cabinet and after that, the Prime Minister takes the final decision. In this case the matter has been referred to a Group of Ministers to look at one or two clauses of the Bill.”
The Group of Ministers will now examine the clauses over the next few days and the Bill will come back before the Cabinet, he added.