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1. Short title and commencement.(i) These rules may be called the Hindu Marriage and Divorce Rules, 1956.

(ii) these rules shall come into force with immediate effect:

Provided that nothing contained in these rules will affect the validity of any pending proceeding under the Act, but the petitions already filed under the Act shall be made consistent with these rules by necessary amendment or remedy of the defects within a time fixed by the Court.

2. Definitions.(i) “Act” means the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 [Act 25 of 1955].

(ii) “Code” means the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

(iii) “Court” means the Court mentioned in Section 3(b) of the Act.

3. Proceedings under the Act and petitions.(a) Every proceeding under the Act shall be registered as a suit.

(b) Every petition for divorce on any of the grounds mentioned in clause (i) and (ii) of Section 13(1A) of the Act1 shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the decree for judicial separation or for restitution of conjugal rights, as the case may be.

4. Contents of petition.—In addition to the particulars required to be given under Order VII, Rule I of the Code of Civil Procedure and Section 20 of the Act, every petition for judicial separation, nullity of marriage and divorce shall contain the following particulars

(a)   the place and date of marriage;

(b)   the name, status and domicile of the wife and husband, before and after the marriage;

(c)   the principal permanent address where the parties cohabited, including the address where they last resided together;

(d) whether there is living any issue of the marriage and, if so, the names and dates of birth or ages of such issues—

(i)   in every petition presented by a husband for divorce on the ground that his wife is living a adultery with any person or persons or for judicial separation on the ground that his wife has committed adultery with any-person or persons1 so far as they can be ascertained;

in every petition presented by a wife for divorce on the ground that her husband is living in adultery with any woman or woman or for judicial separation, on the ground

1. Now for either remedy on the ground of extra marital sex.         

that her husband has committed adultery with any woman or women1, the petitioner shall state the name, occupation and place of residence of such woman or women, so far as they can be ascertained;

(e)  whether there have been in any Court in India any and, if so, what previous proceedings with reference to the marriage by or on behalf of either of the parties and the result of such proceedings;

(f)   the matrimonial offence or offences charged set out in separate paragraphs with the time and place of its or their alleged commission;

(g)   property mentioned in Section 27 of the Act, if any;

(h)   the relief or reliefs prayed for.

5. Necessary parties.—(a) In every petition for divorce or judicial separation on the ground that the respondent is living in adultery or has committed adultery with any person1, the petitioner shall make such person a co-respondent. The petitioner may, however, apply to the Court by an application supported by an affidavit for leave to dispense with the joinder of such person as a co-respondent on any of the following grounds :

(i)   that the name of such person is unknown to the petitioner although he has made due efforts for discovery;

(ii)   that such person is Dead;

(iii)   that the respondent being the wife is leading a life of a prostitute and that the petitioner knows of no person with whom adultery has been committed;

(iv)   for any other sufficient reason the Court may deem fit to consider.

(b) In every petition under Section 11 of the act on the ground that the condition in Section 5(1) is contravened, the petitioner shall make the spouse alleged to be living at the time of the marriage a co-respondent.

(c) In every petition under Section 19(2)0′) of the Act the petitioner shall make “the other wife” mentioned in that Section a co-respondent. 

6. Application for leave under Section 14 of the Act.—(1) Where any party to a marriage desires to present a petition for divorce within one year of such marriage, he or she shall obtain leave of the Court under Section 14 of the Act on ex parte application made to the Court in which the petition for divorce is intended to be filed.

(2) The application shall be supported by an affidavit made by the; petitioner setting out the particulars of exceptional hardships to the petitioner or exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent on which leave is sought.

(3) The evidence in such application may, unless the Court otherwise directs, be given by affidavit.

1. Now for either remedy on the ground of extra marital sex.                               

(4) When the Court grants leave, the petition shall be deemed to have been duly filed on the date of the said order. The petitioner within a week of the date of the said order shall file sufficient number of copies of application for leave and order of the Court thereon and of the petition for divorce for service upon the respondent in the petition. 

7. Service of copy of application for and order granting leave on the respondents and procedure after service.—(1) when the court grants leave under the preceding rule a copy of the application for leave and order granting leave shall be served on each of the respondents along with the notice of petition for divorce.

(2) (a) When the respondent desires to contest the petition for divorce on the ground that leave for filing the petition has been erroneously granted or improperly obtained, he or she shall set forth in his or her written statement the grounds with particulars on which the grant of leave is sought to be contested.

(b) The Court may, if it so deems fit, frame, try and decide the issue as to the propriety of the leave granted as a preliminary issue.

(c) The court may, at the instance of either party, order the attendance for examination or cross-examination of any deponent in the application for leave under -the preceding rule. 

8. Service of petitions.—Every petition and notice under the Act shall be served on the party affected thereby in the manner provided for service of summons under Order V of the Civil Procedure Code.

9. Written statements in answer to petitions by respondent.—The

respondent may, and if so required by the Court shall, present a written statement in answer to the petition. The provisions of Order VIII of the Code shall apply mutatis mutandis to such written statements. In particular, if in any proceeding for divorce the respondent opposes the relief sought in the petition on the ground of the petitioner’s adultery, cruelty or desertion, the written statement shall state the particulars of such adultery, cruelty or desertion.

10. (1) Intervenor’s petitions.—Unless the Court, for good cause shown otherwise directs, where the written statement of the respondent alleges adultery by the petitioner with a named man or woman, a copy of such statement or such material portion thereof containing such allegation shall be served on such man or woman accompanied by a notice that such person is entitled within the time therein specified to apply for leave to intervene in the case.

(2) Costs regarding intervention.—(a) Whenever the Court finds that an intervenor had no sufficient grounds for intervening, it may order the intervenor to pay the whole or any part of the costs occasioned by the application to intervene.          

(b) When the Court finds that the charge or allegation of adultery against the intervenor made in any petition or written statement is baseless or not proved and that the intervention is justified, it may order the person making such charge or allegation against the intervenor to pay the intervenor the whole or any part of the costs of intervention.

11. Answer.—A person to whom leave to intervene has been granted, may file in the Court an answer to written statement containing the charges or allegations against such intervenor. 

12. Mode of taking evidence.—The witnesses in all proceedings before the Court, where their attendance can be had, shall be examined orally, and any party may offer himself or herself as a witness, and shall be examined, and may be cross-examined and re-examined like any other witness :

Provided that the parties shall be at liberty to verify the respective cases in whole or in part by affidavit, but so that the deponent in every such affidavit shall, on the application of the opposite party, or by direction of the Court, be subject to be cross-examined by or on behalf of the opposite party orally and after such cross-examination, may be re-examined orally as aforesaid by or on behalf of the party by whom such affidavit was filed.

13. Application for alimony and maintenance.—(1) Every application for maintenance pendente lite, permanent alimony and maintenance, or for custody, maintenance and education expenses of minor children, shall state the average monthly incomes of the petitioner and the respondent, the sources of these incomes, particulars of other movable and immovable property owned by them, the number of dependants on the petitioner and the respondent, and the names and ages of such dependants.

(b) Such application shall be supported by an affidavit of the applicant.

14. Taxation of costs.—Unless, otherwise directed by the Court, the costs of the petition under the Act shall be costs as taxed in a suit.

15. Order as to costs.—The award of costs shall be within the discretion of the Court.

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