Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 strikes out Leprosy disease as a ground for seeking a divorce
On January 7, the Lok Sabha passed ‘The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018’, which seeks removal of leprosy as a ground for divorce from various Acts governing marriage in India. The Bill seeks to amend five Acts: the Divorce Act of 1869, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act of 1939, the Special Marriage Act of 1954, the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act of 1956. Presently, leprosy is completely curable and can be treated with multi-drug therapy. However, old legislative provisions discriminating the persons affected by leprosy continued in various laws. If passed by Rajya Sabha and eventually made an Act, the Bill will go a long way in detaching the social stigma associated with the disease.