Government Nod For Divorce Law Change Upsets Christians

Date 2000/11/25 22:47:02 | Topic: Hindu Press International


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NEW DELHI, INDIA: The Union Cabinet on Thursday decided to introduce the Indian Divorce (Amendment) Bill, 2000, ostensibly to remove discrepancies in the grounds for Christian men and women to seek divorce. Christian organizations have criticized the move, saying they were not consulted. The bill intends to amend the Indian Divorce Act, of 1869, since its provisions are outdated and discriminatory. The present bill seeks to amend particularly Section 10 of the Act, under which a Christian man seeking dissolution of marriage only needs to prove adultery by his wife. If a Christian wife wanted dissolution of the marriage, she is required to prove some other marital offense in addition to adultery to be able to obtain divorce. Catholic Bishops Conference of India spokesperson Dominic Emmanuel questioned how the could government proceed on this crucial issue without consulting the Catholic Church, which represents 67 per cent of Indian Christians. He did say the Catholics encourage removal of gender bias. India has separate laws for each religious community, governing "personal" matters such as marriage and divorce. This is unlike other countries, such as the United States, where everyone is subject to one common civil code.







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