Marriage performed under muslim law can be dissolved under dissolution of muslim marriage act, 1939. Before the passing of this act, there were only two grounds available-

  1. Impotency of the husband and,
  2. lian

These are generally recognized in British India as valid ground of dissolution of marriage and for obtaining a judicial decree.

Under the present act of 1939 further grounds have been provided under which a wife married according to muslim law shall obtain a decree for the dissolution of marriage.

Section 2 of act of 1939 made following grounds available to wife:

  1. LONG ABSENCE OF HUSBAND (2(1)) or the whereabouts of husband have not been known for a period of 4 years, wife is entitled to decree for dissolution of marriage. But if husband appears within a period of six months after passing such a decree and satisfies that court that he is prepared to perform his conjugal duties, the court must set aside the said decree.
  2. FAILURE TO MIANTAIN HER (2(2)) as the husband has neglected or has failed to provide for her maintenance for a period of 2 years.

In A.YOUSAF VS SOWRAMMA, it was held that failure to maintain the wife need not to be willful. Even if the failure to provide for maintenance are due to poverty, falling health, loss of work, imprisonment or any other cause. The mere fact of non maintenance for the statutory period of 2 years entitles the wife to sue for dissolution.

Unless, it is submitted that her conduct has been such as to disentitle her to maintain under Mohammedan law.

  • IMPRISONMENT OF HUSBAND (2(3)) that the husband has been sentenced the imprisonment for a period of 7 years, the wife is entitle to a decree for dissolution of her marriage. But no decree can be passed unless sentence has become final.
  • FAILURE TO PERFORM MARITAL OBLIGATION (2(4)) that the husband has failed to perform without reasonable cause his marital obligation for a period of 3 years the wife is entitled to a decree for the dissolution of marriage.
  • IMPOTENCY OF HUSBAND (2(5)) the wife is entitled to obtain a decree for the dissolution of her marriage on the ground that husband was impotent at the time of marriage and continue to be so till the institution of the suit.
  • INSANITY, LEPROSY OR VENEREAL DISEASE (2(6))  If the husband has been insane for a period of 2 years or is suffering from leprosy or from virulent venereal disease, the wife is entitled to dissolution of marriage.
  • OPTION OF PUBERTY women married under muslim law shall be entitle to obtain a decree for divorce on the ground that she was given in marriage by her father or other guardian before she attained the age of 15 years and she can repudiate the marriage before attaining a age of 18 years provided marriage has not been consummated.
  • CRUELTY if the husband treats her with cruelty the wife may obtain a decree for the dissolution of her marriage e.g. if he has more wife than one and doesn’t treat them equally according to the principles of Quran.
  • Grounds of dissolution recognized by mohammedan law

The wife can claim judicial dissolution on any other grounds which are recognized as valid grounds under muslim law. Eg khula, lian, mubarat,etc.

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