Union minister Maneka Gandhi has recommended the adoption of a ‘prenup’ or prenuptial agreement, in vogue in several Western nations, for marriages in India.
A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that provides security, especially to women, with regard to alimony and maintenance, in the event of a divorce by forgoing the lengthy process of a courtroom battle.
Maneka plans to hold wide-ranging discussions with all stakeholders to build a consensus and has also spoken to law minister Sadananda Gowda on the issue, the Times of India reported.
Currently, a ‘prenup’ is not legally valid in India.
“The prenuptial agreement is not recognised in India. Most couples, mainly the rich and influential, enter into an agreement under the Indian Contract Act. However, this has not been legally upheld in court,“ a senior ministry official said.
Legal issues are also involved in enforcing a prenup, since marriage in India is not considered a contract. The Muslim Personal Law specifies a set of rules governing mehr and maintenance that are applicable to a ‘nikah’, which is the only marriage contract currently in force in India.