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Report No. 59

9.9. Effect of conversion on proprietary rights.-

But for the Act of 1850, conversion would affect rights to property. In a very early Madras case1, for example, the plaintiff had renounced his religion in the year 1839, and his mother sold a property in the year 1846; it was held that the plaintiff, having lost his rights by his conversion, could not sue to set aside the sale. (The 1850 Act, not having retrospective effect, was inapplicable)2.

The Act of 1850 abrogates the rule by which an apostate (or a person deprived of caste) lost certain rights3-4. The Act applies only to protect the actual person, and not his children5. The result of reading section 20 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 with the Caste Disabilities Removal Act, 1850 is that a person does not, by reason of his marriage under the Special Marriage Act, forfeit his existing interest in the joint family property, or lose the right of inheritance to other members of the family, whether such right arises before or after the marriage.

But, the operation of section 19, (previously section 22) of the Special Marriage Act must be borne in mind. By virtue of that section, the right of survivorship is completely extinguished, and there is a compulsory severance from the other members. Even under the Special Marriage Act of 1872, it was held6 that-survivorship is not saved by the Act of 1850, or by the Special Marriage Act. This is now more clear, because section 20 is made subject to section 19 (It was not so in the 1872 Act).

1. Case No. 99 of 1858 reported in Rulings of the Court of Sudder Udalut, 1858 to 1862 (August), (Mad) p. 94 referred to in Ranganatha Mollan v. Kathyayan, 1966 Ker LI. 73 (75).

2. Cf. Ranbir v. Joginder, AIR 1940 All 134 (140).

3. Honamma v. Timannachal, 1877 ILR 1 Bom 559.

4. For previous Regulations see Nowroz Ali v. Aziz Bibi, (1876) 11 Punj Record, Civil Judgment No. 124, pp. 253 (255, 264, 265).

5. Mitar Sen v. Mukbul Hassan, AIR 1930 PC 251: 57 IA 313 (PC) (Lord Atkin).

6. (a) Girdharilal v, Fakirchand, AIR 1955 Madh Bha 148 (153), para. 12. (b) Subbayya v. Rangaya, AIR 1927 Mad 883, para. 12.

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Special Marriage Act, 1954 Back

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