Leprosy cannot be a ground for divorce, Govt clears bill
A senior Law Ministry functionary said here that the provision of leprosy as a grounds for divorce was part of the laws as when these acts came into being, leprosy was incurable.
Leprosy cannot be a ground for divorce, according to a new bill cleared by the Union Cabinet today.
The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 seeks to amend the Divorce Act for Christians, Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, the Hindu Marriage Act, the Special Marriage Act and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act to strike down leprosy as a ground for seeking a divorce.
"Since leprosy is completely curable with multi-drug therapy, there is no justification in keeping the provision as part of any law," the functionary explained.
In one of its recent reports, the Law Commission had also recommended repeal of laws and provisions which were discriminatory against leprosy-affected people.
Besides, India is a signatory to a UN Resolution which calls for an elimination of discrimination against persons suffering from leprosy.
In 2014, the Supreme Court had also asked the Centre and the state governments to take steps for rehabilitation and integration of leprosy-affected people into the mainstream, the functionary said.
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