The Indian Divorce Act 1869: Everything You Need to Know

Indian Divorce Act 1869
Matrimonial Disputes » The Indian Divorce Act 1869: Everything You Need to Know

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The Indian Divorce Act of 1869 is concerned with governing the divorce of Christian couples in our country. Since there is a lot of diversity among religions in India, there are multiple laws governing marriage and divorce for couples belonging to different communities. The Act contains provisions for dissolution of marriage, null and void marriages, custody of children, and a lot more. This blog aims to inform you about everything you need to know about the Indian Divorce Act 1869.

Grounds for Divorce Under Indian Divorce Act 1869

Indian Divorce Act 1869 section 10 outlines the grounds on which a Christian man or woman may file for divorce in our country. This law’s jurisdiction extends to all Christian marriages except in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Any marriage solemnized before or after the Indian Divorce (Amendment) Act, 2001 can be dissolved on the following grounds:

  • Either party has committed adultery
  • Either party has converted to a religion other than Christianity
  • Either party has been of unsound mind for two years or more since the petition was filed in court
  • Either party has been unheard of for 7 years or more and hence presumed dead
  • Either party has refused to consummate the marriage
  • Either party has failed to respond to the court’s order for the restitution of conjugal rights for more than 2 years
  • Either party has deserted the other party for more than 2 years
  • Has treated the petitioning party with cruelty – this involves both physical and mental abuse
  • Has been suffering from venereal disease or leprosy
  • A wife may also file for a divorce if the husband has engaged in bestiality, rape, or sodomy

Also Read: The Indian Divorce Act 1869 – An Overview

Dissolution of Marriage by Mutual Consent

The Christian divorce law in India also has a provision where the couple can file for divorce mutually when they both agree that their marriage is not working out. This is outlined in section 10A of the Indian Divorce Act. To file for a mutual divorce:

  • The couple must have lived separately for at least two years
  • They both agree that they are unable to live together
  • They do not withdraw the petition within 6-18 months of filing the petition in the district court

The Process to File a Divorce

The divorce process in India is usually regulated by the provision of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. The following steps must be followed:

  1. Whoever files the divorce, the man or wife will have to hire a lawyer first who will inform them of the procedure
  2. The lawyer then files a divorce petition at District Court
  3. The court will send a copy of the petition to the spouse
  4. The spouse can either contest the divorce or mutually agree
  5. In case the divorce is mutually agreed upon, the couple will have to prove that they were living separately for more than a year
  6. A cooling-off period of six months is given to the couple to reconsider
  7. The court meets again after the cool-off period and if the parties still want a divorce, the court dissolves the marriage.

Null and Void Marriages

The court resolves the right to declare marriages null and void according to the Indian Divorce Act 1869 on a few grounds. Any husband or wife may file to declare their marriage null and void if:

  1. The partner is impotent at the time of the marriage and even while filing the null and void suit
  2. The parties are within the prohibited degree of consanguinity
  3. Either party was mentally unsound at the time of the marriage
  4. Either party had a living spouse at the time the marriage was solemnized.

New Rules for Divorce in India 2021

There have been new rules and historic judgments that have set precedents for new divorce laws in our country. Since January 2022, domestic violence, dowry harassment, and child marriage have been included as valid reasons for divorce. Let us explore some of these.

6-Month Cooling-Off Period Not Mandatory

While the 6-month cool-off period is a good step to discourage hasty decisions, it can be waived off nowadays. In a recent historic hearing, the Delhi High Court granted divorce to a mutually estranged couple sans the 6-month cool-off period observing, “However, keeping them tied to a legal bond would only mean snatching away from them the opportunity ever to lead a fulfilling life.”

Adultery is not a Criminal Offence

Adultery is still a valid ground for divorce according to the Indian Divorce Act 1869. However, it is no longer a punishable criminal offense. The law has evolved since ancient times to recognize that adultery is an immoral choice, not a sin, and hence has stopped penalizing adulterous partners.

Only Civil Courts Can Grant a Divorce

This is a great step to stop illogical divorces across the country. No personal or religious law is now able to govern divorce in our country. Only a civil court has the jurisdiction to dissolve a marriage or declare its nullity.

Also Read:- The High Rate Of Divorce In India And Its Effect On Society 


Whether you are a Christian whose divorce laws fall under the Indian Divorce Act or belonging to any other religion governed by the various other divorce laws, like the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 or the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act of 1939, breaking the bond of marriage is usually hard for anyone. To minimize the hassle of legal proceedings and court hearings, you should hire the best lawyer in Chandigarh, if you live in that area. That is where a firm like Lex Solutions can be a lifesaver, as they have the best legal professionals on their team.


1.Can divorced parties be married again?

Yes. Divorced parties under the Indian Divorce Act of 1869 can remarry after their divorce has been granted or has not been appealed against in higher courts within the stipulated time.

2. What is section 58 of the Indian Divorce Act?

Section 58 of the Indian Divorce Act 1869 states that no clergy is compelled to marry any person who has been divorced before due to his/her adulterous act. That means they can choose whether or not to remarry an adulterer of their own volition.

3.Is there a provision for the custody of children in the Indian Divorce Act?

Yes. The Indian Divorce Act details procedures for the custody of children too.

4.Was there an amendment to the Indian Divorce Act?

Yes. This act was amended by the Indian Divorce (Amendment) Act, 2001.

5.How can I get in touch with Lex Solutions?

You can get in touch with Lex Solution by either fixing an appointment through their website or calling 9956849634.

According to estimates, 65% of people living in urban areas around the world are tenants. This is also true in India due to the sky-high prices of real estate in the major cities and the large population of migrant workers who live there. Nevertheless, living as a renter can be a peaceful arrangement, but occasionally there are situations where one can run into rental problems and other connected issues, such as receiving an unauthorized eviction notice or the erratic behaviour of the landlord.

Are you, however, a renter who is experiencing such problems or simply curious about what to do if you ever find yourself in a similar situation? In that case, allow us to help you through this blog, which will briefly discuss about the several protections against landowner harassment.

What does illegal eviction of tenants mean?

An illegal eviction, also known as an unlawful termination of tenancy, typically happens when a landowner forbids a tenant from entering a rental property or removes the tenant’s belongings from the property through the use of force, intimidation, or other methods (such as cutting off utilities or changing the locks). However, if the landowners evict you without taking the proper legal action, they are breaking the law.

How Do You Respond When Your Landlord Forcibly Evicts You?

Almost every state has rental control legislation pertaining to tenant protection, and each state has established specific circumstances for which the landlord may lawfully evict the renter. Additionally, a tenant has a legal right under the law to appear in court and defend himself against unlawful eviction, and some of those accessible remedies for tenants are discussed below:

Grounds for eviction

Non-payment of rent, breach of the lease, property damage, and illegal activity are the most typical grounds for evicting a renter. The tenant must therefore review the provisions of the State Rent Control Act to ascertain the grounds for eviction specified in the Act. In addition, if the tenant is being evicted for any reason other than those specified in the Act—which is considered wrongful eviction—they must seek the help of an eviction lawyer and the enforcement agencies to halt this.

Suit for injunction

A renter might be unable to leave a property when asked to do so for a number of reasons, such as having a medical emergency or having his elderly parents live with him. When this happens, the tenant has the option to file a case in the appropriate court to obtain an injunction that will prevent them from being evicted for any other grounds (other than those listed in the State’s Rent Act). Along with the assistance of housing rental lawyers, the renter should take this action, if they are violently evicted without providing them with adequate notice.

Rent Controller

In the event that the tenant receives a notice of eviction on pretences, they should go see the rent controller of the relevant jurisdiction and explain why they believe the notice of eviction is invalid. Additionally, following the tenant eviction laws, the court will summon the tenant, who will then be forced to submit his or her case and the arguments supporting the necessary evidence.

Notice of rent payment

If the landowner claims that he has not received the required rent and lists this as the reason for serving the notice of eviction, the tenant may legitimately ask him or her to send the information to his bank account so that he can conduct the transaction and deposit the outstanding rent. Moreover, after agreeing to it, the landowner must give the tenant the information within 10 days of the date they received the notice.

Also Read: Lex Solutions – Your One-Stop Destination For All Things Legal

Steps that you must follow to legally evict a tenant in India

Because eviction laws differ from state to state, the following are typical recommendations for evicting a renter. Nevertheless, you can contact the tenants lawyer of Lex Solutions if you need any assistance.

Serve the Tenant With a Termination Notice

The tenancy must be terminated before a landlord can evict a tenant for cause, and the landowner shall provide the tenant with the required notice before taking legal action to do so. Three different kinds of termination notices are generally available:

  • Pay Rent or Quit: The tenant is required to pay the rent within a predetermined period (often three to five days) or leave the rented property.
  • Cure or Quit: A breach of the rental agreement or lease must be remedied by the tenant within a set amount of time.
  • Unconditional Quit: Without a chance to correct the offense or pay the rent, the tenant must leave the property.

But to evict a tenant without good reason, the landlord must give the renter a 30- or 60-day notice to leave the premises.

File an Eviction Lawsuit

If the renter does not correct the issue or quit the property within the allotted time, the landowner must initiate an unlawful detainer case in small claims court. Following this, landlords have the right to evict tenants by serving a legal notice to tenants to vacate their premises.

Wait for the Tenant’s Answer

Within the time frame given on the summons, the tenant may “answer” the complaint. The renter may, however, use the response to refute the charges or present a defence. And, for instance, a tenant might claim that the eviction was carried out in retaliation or that the unpaid rent was used to pay for repairs the landlord refused to undertake.

Receive a Judgment for Possession

A default judgment is granted to the landowner if the tenant ignores the eviction notice India. Moreover, the landowner is entitled to take ownership of the property if the renter replies with an answer but the court rules in his or her favor.

Remove the Tenant

Despite having the right to reclaim the property, the landlord is unable to evict a renter without the help of a law enforcement official. Nevertheless, the tenant will be informed of the legal eviction and the number of days they have to leave once such an official receives the judgment and the cost. Moreover, the law enforcement authority may physically evict the tenant if they don’t leave the property in the allotted period.

Also Read: Introduction To The Indian Judicial System And Court Hierarchy

Summing Up

Now that you are aware of the characteristics of evictions and how to deal with them in a nation like India, you must use them as needed. Additionally, as a landowner, you must evict a problematic renter per the law. And, to ensure that you are acting legally, consult a local landlord-tenant law attorney in your area. For such assistance, a legal firm in Chandigarh, lexsolution can offer you a one-stop solution.


  • Can a tenant seek an injunction against the landlord?

According to the state rental rules present in India, a tenant does not have the right to issue an injunction against the landlord. Moreover, injunction procedures are always discretionary, and a court of law cannot grant a perpetual injunction in favour of the plaintiff against the right owner if the plaintiff is only a trespasser.

  • Can police evict a tenant in India?

Even if the renters behave disrespectfully, the police cannot assist in reclaiming the property. However, the only court with the authority to order the eviction of a tenant is the court of the rent controller under whose jurisdiction the property is located. 

  • When a tenant can get the benefit of protection against eviction?

If the tenant can show that the landlord gave his written approval to the subtenant, he is entitled to protection from eviction. Additionally, it disallows any other consent, including implied or oral permission.