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Provisions of Section 14 of Hindu Marriage Act

Section 14 of Hindu Marriage Act

Section 14 of Hindu marriage act of 1955 is the main legislation governing married couples' rights and responsibilities. Under primitive laws, the concept of marriage is taken as the sacred one, that union of two souls.  

There is no concept like separation or divorce in those days, once you got united by the sacramental ceremony of marriage, you are bound to follow the rules, and regulations that are cast on both spouses because of taking into the institution of marriage.

But these days, the concept of marriage had transformed entirely. Whenever any problem arises between the couples, they start thinking of separating from each other by divorce.

Therefore, to avoid the wrong and faulty decisions made in hurry, the provision of section 14 of Hindu marriage act is framed. Which says that no divorce can be filed within one year of marriage.

Before entering the legality and need for the provisions of section 14, it’s better to have some idea of divorce law under the Hindu Marriage Act.

Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act.

Section 14 of Hindu marriage act is the legislation that provides the recognition to divorce among Hindus. Where Manu Smriti had laid down that it’s death, which can bring an end to the marriage.

The term Divorce is not defined under the statute. The legislation only carved out the ground based on which divorce can be granted.

Clause 1 of section 13 lays down the general provisions based on which both parties can get a divorce. Clause 1-A had been added in the year 1964, by which two more grounds were added like section 14 of Hindu marriage act.

Clause 2 of the section on divorce, carved out the grounds for divorce only for women.

The institution of the marriage is based on the exclusive relationship between the parties. It is based on mutual trust and understanding. Marriage indicates that parties will live together in peace. However, if one of the parties to the marriage breaks the trust of the other, starts amending the other, would bring infidelity, and abuse both mentally and physically.

Let’s have a look at the general grounds for Presentation of petition for divorce.

Section 13 (1) provides seven reasons based on which one can bring an end to the marriage.


Both the parties to the marriage can avail is for termination of the marriage. The term is defined as having voluntary sexual intercourse with another person outside the marriage.

The burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show that, there is valid marriage between him/her, and that the respondent had sexual relations with a third party. At the time of the act, the marriage has been intact.

Cruelty :

Initially in section 14 of Hindu marriage act, cruelty is not the ground for divorce, after the 1976 amendment it had been added as such. The cruelty need not be physical it can be mental also.  If anyone among the two, after the solemnization of marriage treats the other with Cruelty, he/she had or has been committing the matrimonial offense under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code.

Desertion :

The term desertion is defined as the desertion of the person presenting the application, by the respondent without reasonable cause and against the wishes and consent of the such person.  If one party to the marriage is willing to neglect the other spouse then it will be termed as nothing less but desertion. The desertion can be physical or constructive.

Conversion into another religion : 

It’s section 13(1)(2) of HMA which provides, that if one of the parties converts itself to another religion, without the consent of the other.  The conversion into the non- Hindu religious practices will be considered the valid ground for, breaking out the marriage. The term non-Hindu means conversion into Islam, Parsis, Christianity, or Zoroastrianism.

Insanity :

Section 13(3) made out that, if one of the people is suffering from a mental illness of such a nature that the other person cannot reasonably bear, then, in that case, he/she cannot be forced to live with that person.

Insanity is the valid ground for obtaining a divorce stated as per section 14 of Hindu marriage act.

Leprosy :

India is a signatory to the United Nations resolution on the abolition of discrimination against leprosy patients. Section 13(4) of the HMA made the provision for divorce on the ground of leprosy.  But the Parliament of India passed the resolution on 13 February 2019 which omitted the provision of section 13(4) of the HMA like section 14 of Hindu marriage act.

Venereal disease :

The disease, which is deadly and transmittable at the same time, is the ground for obtaining a divorce. A disease like AIDS is considered Venereal.

Renunciation :

Circumstances where one of the persons wants to enter the holy order, by renouncing the worldly order. The other spouse has the right to get a divorce.

Presumption of the Death :

When one of the spouses is not heard of being alive for at least seven years by the people who would know of it naturally his/her where about.  The Indian evidence act on the basis of section 14 of Hindu marriage act says that if any person where about is not known for seven years he/she will be presumed to be dead and the petitioner will be granted the decree of divorce.  

Section 13 of Hindu marriage act carved out the other grounds, based on which divorce can be decreed.

Rule of a fair trial under the Divorce Law, let’s have a look.

The rule of the fair trial states that if the provisions of the law which are directions and not mandatory can be said to comply when there is sufficient compliance, absolute is not needed.

Section 14 of Hindu Marriage act petition for divorce with in period of one year of marriage begins as the obstante clause, whereas clause 1 of section 14 Hindu Marriage Act makes it a directory in nature. Therefore, sufficient, and not absolute compliance with the law is required here.

Provision Related to Section 14 of Hindu Marriage Act:

The provision reads as “No petition for divorce to be presented within one year of marriage”

‘No courts had to entertain the petition, for divorce unless the period of one year had been escaped, since the inception of the marriage’.

The provison to the section made out that, above stated condition can be waived off under certain conditions such as –

  • In case of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or
  • Exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent.

The court while countering the petitions for a waiver of a period of one, must consider the facts and circumstances very minority. The court got the discretionally power. Section 14 of Hindu marriage act Judgements in Arvind Kumar vs Nirmala Bharti, the court observed that ‘the provision of the section gives the right to the parties to present the application by the rules framed by the concerned High Court in this regard. The petitioner can present the application for the divorce before the expiry of one year if his case satisfies the condition framed out by the provision to section 14 of Hindu marriage act.

Scope of Section 14 of the HMA:

The provision had been made out to avoid the hasty generalizations made by the parties to the marriage.

The condition of one year had been made to cool down the situations which had arisen between the spouses and to encourage reconciliations. To discourage the practice of hastily divorce the provision had been made out.

The provision in section 14 of Hindu marriage act, which is carved by the framer of the legislation, speaks out of two exceptions under which a divorce petition can be presented.  But the Act itself nowhere defines the exceptions made, it is left for the interpretation of the courts. The Hon’ble courts must decide what is exceptional hardship and exceptional depravity under given conditions. Therefore, while the petition is made before the court, for granting the leave from one-year condition, Court has got the discretionary powers, to grant it or not.

The scope of the expression “exceptional hardship and exceptional depravity” is so vast that it is not possible to define it exclusively.

But in general parcels, we can say that the extraordinary circumstance in which the lives of the presenter of the application had become hell that there remains no scope of light in his or her life. Where the respondent has been or had been committing such heinous and moral offenses that it becomes impossible for the petitioner to live with him or her anymore.

Section 14 of Hindu Marriage act case laws Meghanatha Nayyar vs Smt. Susheela, the High Court of the Madras observed that section 14 restricts the parties to recourse to divorce proceedings when no real efforts to save the matrimonial ties had been made out by the parties.

This is a grounded principle and matter of public policy of civil society, the manner of marriage performance and its dissolution should be regulated in a well-civilized way.

When the marriage of the person has been dissolved by the divorce decree, and there is no right of appeal against the decree or if there is the time for appeal had expired without an appeal have been presented, or if the presented had been dismissed, the part can enter the marriage again or say can remarry again.

At summing up note we can say that where there is a possibility for, reconsideration one must consider it. Because divorce is the not only solution, in matters where there are possibilities for sorting out misunderstandings. with this sole purpose, the provisions of section 14 of Hindu Marriage had been framed by the framers. Section 14 of Hindu marriage act application can be preferred within one year, with permission of the court.

Section 15 of the Hindu Marriage act :

The Purpose of this provision is to avoid the complications that would arise become of bigamous marriages. Section 14 of Hindu marriage act lays down when any person can enter the second marriage. The second marriage can be solemnized when all the remedies to contest the decree has been exhausted., is the leading platform for legal services, Book your Consultation now.