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Report No. 15

61. Consent.-

Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, enacts that the marriage might be dissolved if a petition for divorce is presented by both the parties stating that they had been living separately for a period of one year or more, that they are not able to live together, and that their marriage should, by consent, be dissolved. The question is whether such a ground should be incorporated in the proposed Act. The opinion of all sections of the Christian community is strongly against it. The question whether divorce could be granted on the consent of the parties is discussed in the Report of the Royal Commission on Marriage and Divorce, 19551.

It states that with one exception, "all agreed that the present law based on the doctrine of the matrimonial offence should be retained." That is to say, before a marriage which is intended to be a lifelong union is dissolved it must be made out that either party is guilty of what has been termed the matrimonial offence. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, also does not provide for a marriage being dissolved merely by the consent of the parties. There is no reason for treating sacramental marriages between Christians differently from these between Hindus. We have not, accordingly, provided for divorce being granted on the mere consent of parties.

1. Cmd. 9678, p. 13, para. 65.

Report on the Law of Christian Marriage and Divorce Back

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