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Report No. 79

9.4. Confirmatio.- cases under the Indian Divorce Act, 1869.-

It is also our view that the existing provision of the Indian Divorce Act,1 under which a decree of divorce granted by the District Judge needs to be confirmed by a special Bench consisting normally of three judges of the High Court, on a reference made to it, should be modified and need for such a reference and confirmation should be done away with altogether. The existing procedure not only causes delay in the final disposal of the petitions for divorce under the Indian Divorce Act, but also subjects the parties to unnecessary expense.

1. Section 17, Indian Divorce Act, 1869, para. 9.3, supra.

9.5. It may be mentioned that other matrimonial laws like the Hindu Marriage Act, contain no provision for confirmation of a decree of divorce and we see no cogent ground why a special provision for the purpose applicable to decrees of divorce granted under the Indian Divorce Act, should be required.

It is also plain that the above requirement about the confirmation of the decree by a Bench of the High Court is a hangover of the days which no longer exist. It has also lost all its relevance in the present-day India. It should, therefore, be done away with and replaced by appeals, as in the Hindu Marriage Act. We may add that a substantially similar recommendation was also made by the Law Commission in its Reports dealing, inter alia, with the Indian Divorce Act.1-2 The High Courts Arrears Committee3 presided over by Mr. Justice Shah also recommended a similar change in the law.

1. Law Commission of India, 15th Report (Law relating to marriage and divorce amongst Christians in India), para. 78, Note on section 17.

2. Law Commission of India, 22nd Report (Christian Marriage and Matrimonial Causes Bill, 1961).

3. High Courts Arrears Committee Report (1972), Chapter 5, p. 68, para. 76.

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