The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Personal Laws (Amendment Bill), 2018, which seeks to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce, Live Law reported. The Bill was passed via a voice vote.
The draft law seeks to remove the disease as a reason for divorce in five personal laws – Hindu Marriage Act, Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, Divorce Act (for Christians), Special Marriage Act and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act. “Leprosy is being removed as a ground for divorce as it is now a curable disease as against the earlier notion of it being incurable,” Minister of State for Law PP Chaudhary said.
The minister said the provision to mention the disease as a ground for divorce is discriminatory.
The Central Leprosy Division of the health ministry reported that 135,485 new leprosy cases were detected in India in 2017. In February 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told parliament in a budget speech that India would eliminate leprosy by 2018.