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Parliament passes law removing leprosy as ground for divorce

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Parliament passes law removing leprosy as ground for divorce
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New Delhi: Parliament on Wednesday passed a Bill removing leprosy as a ground for divorce under five personal laws including the Hindu Marriage Act.

The Rajya Sabha on the last day of the Budget session passed the Bill without debate after consensus on the issue.

The Upper House first passed The Personal Laws amendment Bill 2018 by voice vote.

The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 seeks to remove leprosy as a ground 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.

The Law Commission in its report had 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 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.

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