Leprosy is no longer a ground for divorce

P.P. Chaudhary  

Lok Sabha on Monday passed a Bill seeking to remove leprosy as ground for divorce stating that this was a “discriminatory” provision for a disease that is now curable.

“Leprosy is being removed as a ground for divorce as it is now a curable disease as against the earlier notion of it being incurable,” said Minister of State for Law P. P. Chaudhary moving the Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018, in the Lok Sabha.

The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018, has sought to amend five Acts — the Divorce Act, 1869, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939, the Special Marriage Act, 1954, the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 — on provisions related marriage, divorce, and separation of Hindu and Muslim couples.

Each of these Acts prescribe leprosy as a ground for seeking divorce or separation from the spouse. The Bill cleared on Monday removes this as a ground for divorce or separation.

The Bill was passed by a voice vote amid din as Congress and Samajwadi Party protested over the Rafale fighter jet deal and the CBI raids issue respectively.