Who can apply?
Section 10 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, is a provision which entitles any of the spouses to seek a decree of judicial separation, in case the parties do not wish to break the nuptial ties. The said section reads as under:
Either party to a marriage whether solemnized before or after the commencement of the Act, may present a petition praying for a decree for judicial separation on any of the grounds specified in sub-section (1) of section 13, and in the case of a wife also on any of the grounds specified in sub-section (2) thereof, as grounds on which a petition for divorce might have been presented. Where a decree for judicial separation has been passed, it shall no longer be obligatory for the petitioner to cohabit with the respondent, but the court may, on the application by petition of the either party and on being satisfied of the truth of the statements made in such petition rescind the decree if it considers it just and reasonable to do so.
Grounds for seeking Relief
There are a variety of reasons or grounds on account of which either the husband or the wife may seek judicial separation and not divorce at the first instance. By seeking a decree of judicial separation, the nuptial tie between the parties remains intact. The only restraint under these circumstances is that the parties are not bound to cohabit. Under section 10 of the Act, a decree of judicial separation granted by the competent court does not, therefore, dissolve the martial bond; it only suspends martial rights and obligation during the period of subsistence of the decree of judicial separation. It will, therefore, be noticed that the judicial separation as provided under section 10 of the Act, is, as a matter of fact, a milder relief than divorce and judicial separation are, by and large, common, but the requirement in case of judicial separation is comparatively milder.
Distinction between Judicial Separation and Divorce
The main distinction between judicial separation and divorce is that in case of judicial separation the nuptial tie remains intact; it is suspended during the course of judicial separation. But in case of divorce under section 13 of the Act, the marriage ends completely.