@Personal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2019 , Leprosy omitted as a ground for Divorce notified by Union Govt
The Central Government notified the Personal Laws(Amendment) Act 2019, to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce, from various statutes governing marriage in India.
The said amendment following are the statutes and the provisions deleted.
· Divorce Act, 1869 – In section 10, in sub-section (1), clause (iv) is omitted.
· Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 – In section 2, in ground (vi), the words “leprosy or” is omitted.
· Special Marriage Act, 1954 – In section 27, in sub-section (1), clause (g) is omitted.
· Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 – In section 13, in sub-section (1), clause (iv) is omitted.
· Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 – Section 18, in sub-section (2), clause (c) is omitted.
Various Human Right organizations demanded to remove leprosy as a ground of divorce from personal laws. In 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution on the ‘Elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members’. It 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 Leprosy.
Aim and Object of Personal Law (Amendment) Act, 2019 read as:
“Leprosy patients were isolated and segregated from society as the leprosy was not curable and the society was hostile 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. The discriminatory provisions contained in various statutes against the persons affected with leprosy were made prior to the medical advancements rendering leprosy a curable disease”