The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that sought to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce.
The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 seeks to amend the Divorce Act for Christians, Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, the Hindu Marriage Act, the Special Marriage Act and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act to strike down leprosy as a ground for seeking a divorce.
The provision of leprosy as a ground for divorce was part of the laws, as when these acts came into being leprosy was incurable, according to a senior official in the Law Ministry.
“Since leprosy is completely curable with multi-drug therapy, there is no justification in keeping the provision as part of any law,” the official said.
It may also be noted that India is a signatory to a UN Resolution against discriminating against people suffering from leprosy.
The Supreme Court had also asked the Centre and the state governments in 2014 to take steps for "rehabilitation and integration of leprosy-affected people" into the mainstream, the official added.