17/11/2015 5:05 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Prenups In India Should Be Legal, Says Maneka Gandhi

Holding hands
Harpal Padwal via Getty Images
Holding hands

NEW DELHI -- Imagine deciding the terms for a divorce before signing the marriage registry. Though it may sound like an alien concept for many in India, where even the idea of a divorce carries a huge weight of social stigma, the absence of a law for such agreements means long-drawn battles in the already overburdened Indian courts.

Union minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, wants to make pre-nuptial agreements, which have already caught favour in the western world, to be recognised in Indian courts as a standard legal document. There is no standard law that regulates pre nuptial agreements in India.

"The prenuptial agreement is not recognised in India. Most couples, mainly those who are rich and influential, enter in to an agreement under the Indian Contracts Act. However, this has not been legally upheld in court,'' a senior ministry official told The Times of India.

The rate of divorces in India has risen sharply over the past few years, with some cities reporting double or triple earlier rates.

Gandhi has been pushing for such a law for sometime now, and recently met law minister Sadanand Gowda again, according to reports. Her ministry has now called for a consultation on the matter from several stakeholders, including former solicitor general Indira Jaising, women-centric NGOs, etc.

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