HC moots secular law for marriage, divorce

‘Law should equip spouses to deal with marital damages, compensation’

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Friday stressed the need for revamping the marriage law and compulsory solemnisation of it under a secular law.

The Bench comprising Justice A. Muhammed Mustaque and Justice Kauser Edappagath observed that there could not be any difficulty in having a common code of law to all communities, at least for marriage and divorce.

“Individuals are free to perform their marriage in accordance with personal law, but they cannot be absolved from compulsory solemnisation of the marriage under secular law,” the court observed.

Dismissing an appeal filed by a husband in a matrimonial case, the court said that “marriage and divorce must be under the secular law. This is the need of the hour. Time has come to revamp the marriage law in our country.”

The court observed that law should equip the spouses to deal with marital damages and compensation. The law has to safeguard the spouse as against any loss suffered in relationship or on such separation.

The break-up of marriage may bring myriad losses to a spouse on such separation. While law allows an individual to act on his or her choice, “the law cannot ignore the loss of such spouses who suffered in the matrimony or in separation. Husband or wife is likely to be exposed to vulnerability on exercise of such option for separation by one of the spouses. Vulnerability alludes to a situation of a spouse who would be disadvantaged consequent on such separation and causation demands empowerment of such spouse.”

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