The study builds a case for removal of mental disability as a ground for annulment and divorce.
Pinki Mathur Anurag, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India.
The article argues that family laws in India that allow nullity and divorce on grounds of ‘unsoundness of mind’ and ‘mental disorder’ discriminate against persons with mental disability and violate international law on rights of the disabled.
Drawing from international human rights law, contemporary disability rights principles and models of disability, the article presents a critical overview of family law and judgements on nullity and divorce on grounds of ‘unsoundness of mind’ and ‘mental disorder’ and builds a case for removal of mental disability as a ground for annulment and divorce.
The author argues that the Mental Health Care Act 2017 (MHA) along with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 were enacted to fulfil India’s international obligations towards implementing the principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD). The law on divorce and mental disorder run counter to the spirit of the provisions under these national laws as well, according to Professor Pinki Mathur Anurag of Jindal Global Law School.
The consequence of stigma is one of the most formidable obstacles to the enforcement of rights in the area of mental disability. Laws that single out mental disability as a space for denial of rights run counter to the spirit of equality and must be removed, says the author.
Published in: Jindal Global Law Review
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