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Leprosy Omitted as a ground for Divorce

Team SoOLEGAL 7 Jan 2019 5:35pm

Leprosy Omitted as a ground for Divorce

The Personal Laws (Amendment Bill), 2018, has been passed by the Lower House which aims to exclude leprosy as a ground for divorce from various Acts governing marriage in India.

 The Amendment seeks to amend five personal laws -- the Divorce Act 1869 (for Christians), the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939, the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, the Special Marriage Act 1954 and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956

In 2008 the National Human Rights Commission made the first attempt by recommending amendments in certain personal laws and other legislations.

In 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution on the Elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members’, which was signed and ratified by India. Subsequently, the Law Commission of India in its 256th Report recommended the elimination of discrimination against people affected by the disease.

"People suffering from leprosy were secluded and separated from society as the leprosy was not curable and the society was unreceptive to them. However, as a result of intensive healthcare and availability of modern medicine to cure the disease, the attitude of the society towards them began to change," stated the bill.

 In 2014 The Apex Court issued a slew of directions to the Central and State governments in order to spread awareness about leprosy and to facilitate a life of equality and dignity for those affected by the disease. The PIL filed by Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy averred that at least one hundred and nineteen statutes (both Central and State) discriminate against patients affected by the disease and that the same are violative of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

Tagged: Personal Law (Amendment) Bill   Leprosy   Personal Laws   Lok Sabha   Divorce Act 1869   Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939   Hindu Marriage Act 1955   Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956   Special Marriage Act 1954   National Human Rights Commission   UN General Assembly   Supreme Court   Constitution  
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