How to Get A Divorce Under Anand Marriage Act in India?

Addressing a long-standing petition of the Sikh community, the Parliament of India passed a law which will allow them to register their marriages under the Anand Marriage Act instead of the Hindu Marriage Act. Even though the Anand Marriage Act was enacted in 1909, it didn’t have any provision for marriage registrations and Sikhs had to register their marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Sikh marriage ceremonies are commonly known as ‘Anand Karaj’ which means “blissful event”. However, Sikh community has established the fact that the people of their community face major problems abroad since their marriage certificates are issued under the Hindu Marriage Act. They face issues abroad because they identify themselves as Sikhs but their marriages are registered under the Hindu Marriage Act.

The Anand Marriage Amendment Bill 2012

The revisions made in the Anand Marriage Act (1909) were inadequate and does not completely resolve the identity crisis that Sikhs face. The Anand Marriage Amendment Bill 2012 has been passed by the parliament of India. However, the absence of the provision for divorce in the amended Bill has sparked a huge debate in the Sikh community, with some section of people against it and others supporting it.

While one school of thought believes there is no place for divorce in the Sikh “Rehat Maryada” and hence the marriage Bill should not have any provision for divorce in it, the other section feels that the Anand marriage Act must have divorce provision so that Sikhs don’t have to rely on the Hindu Marriage Act again to get a divorce.

Divorce under anand marriage act

Sikh Ideology Does Not Support Divorce

Although Sikh ideology does not support divorce, but harsh truth is that just like other communities, divorce is a social reality for Sikhs as well. The act should have the provision for legal separation. Due to the absence of divorce provision, Sikhs have to fall back on the Hindu Marriage Act for annulling their marriages.

The fastest way of getting a divorce in India is by mutual consent. The married couple has to file a petition seeking divorce in the Court, on the grounds that both the wife and the husband have been living separately for a time period of one year or more, thus failing to take care of their marital duties and wanting to dissolve their marriage.

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How Long The Couple Will Have To wait for Divorce?

6 to 15 month of time is given to the married couple for reconciliation and reconsidering their decision for seeking a divorce. However, if they are not able to reconcile and divorce petition is not withdrawn during this time period, the parties have to present themselves again to the court for making a second motion confirming the mutual consent filed earlier. The Court after having heard both the parties would grant a verdict of divorce.

In case either of the spouses is not ready for the mutual divorce, then one can file a petition under any of the grounds mentioned under Section 13(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act. Divorce petition has to be filed in the district court of the city where both the partners lived together for the last time, which was their matrimonial home.