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27. Divorce.-(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and to the rules made thereunder, a petition for divorce may be presented to the District Court either by the husband or the wife on the ground that the respondent-
(a) has, after the solemnization of the marriage had voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse; or
(b) has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately proceeding the presentation of the petition; or
(c) is undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for seven years or more for an offence as defined in the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860); or
(d) has since the solemnization of the marriage treated the petitioner with cruelty; or
(e) has been incurably of unsound mind, or has been suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind, and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.
Explanation- In this Clause-
(a) the expression "mental disorder" means mental illness, arrested or incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder or any other disorder or disability of mind and includes schizophrenia;
(b) the expression "psychopathic disorder" means a persistent disorder or disability of mind (whether or not including sub-normality of intelligence) which results in abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the respondent and whether or not it requires or is susceptible to medical treatment; or
(f) has been suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form; or
(g) has been suffering from leprosy, the disease not having been contracted from the petitioner; or
(h) has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of the respondent if the respondent had been alive;
Explanation- In this sub-section, the expression "desertion" means desertion of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage without reasonable cause and without the consent or against the wish of such party and includes the wilful neglect of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage, and its grammatical variations and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.
(1-A) A wife may also present a petitioner for divorce to the District Court on the ground.-
(i) that her husband has, since the solemnization of the marriage, been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality;
(ii) that in a suit under Sec. 18 of the Hindus Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (78 of 1956), or in a proceeding under Sec. 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), or under the corresponding Sec. 488 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898), a decree or order, as the case may be, has been passed against the husband awarding maintenance to the wife notwithstanding that she was living apart and that since the passing of such decree or order, cohabitation between the parties has not been resumed for one year or upwards.
(2) Subject to the provisions of the Act and to the Rules made thereunder, either party to a marriage, whether solemnized before or after the commencement of the Special Marriage (Amendment) Act, 1970, may present a petition for divorce to the District Court on the ground-
(i) that there has been no resumption of cohabitation as between the parties to the marriage for a period of one year or upwards after the passing of a decree for judicial separation in a proceeding to which they were parties; or
(ii) that there has been no restitution of conjugal rights as between the parties to the marriage for a period of one year or upwards after the passing of a decree for restitution of conjugal rights in a proceeding to which they were parties.
27-A. Alternate relief in divorce proceedings- In any proceeding under this Act, on a petition for a dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce, except in so far as the petition is founded on the ground mentioned in Cl. (h) of sub-section (1) of Sec. 27, the Court may, if it considers it just so to do, having regard to the circumstances of the case, pass instead a decree for judicial separation.
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