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Report No. 22

43. First Schedule-Prohibited relationship.-

The first Schedule to the Bill gives a list of prohibited relations. The question as to who should be placed in this list is one of considerable difficulty, as there is no agreement among the several sections of the Christians thereon. In view of the serious consequences which marriage between prohibited relations entails, it was considered desirable to enumerate in the list only those relations marriage between whom was prohibited by all sections of the society. There is a large body of opinion that father's sister, mother's sister, father's brother and mother's brother should be put in the list of prohibited relations.

At one stage we shared this opinion and that is why we included them in the list attached to the draft Bill, which was originally circulated for opinion. After evidence was taken, the matter assumed a different complexion. As pointed out in our previous Report,1 marriage between some of the relations, though not favoured generally by the community, could be solemnised after obtaining Papal dispensation therefor. As there is no place for a Papal dispensation in the scheme of the Act, we considered that the proper course was to omit these relations from the list and leave the prohibition of marriages between those relations to be regulated by public opinion and not by statute.

Again there is a suggestion that marriage with the daughter or son of the maternal uncle and paternal uncle should also be prohibited. As to this, it appears that marriages between them are specially favoured in certain communities, especially in South India, and it was considered that to prohibit those marriages would strike at the very root of family life. This is pre-eminently a subject in which custom should be the paramount law. We have accordingly considered it inadvisable to ignore it. We do not, therefore, recommend any change.

1. 15th Report, para. 23.

Christian Marriage and Matrimonial Clauses Bill, 1961 Back

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