Report No. 59
11. Substitution of new section for section 26.-
For section 26 of the Special Marriage Act, the following section shall be substituted, namely:-
"26. Legitimacy of children of void and voidable marriages.-(1) Where a marriage is null and void on any ground specified in section 24, any child of such marriage, whether born before or after the commencement of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act 1947, shall be treated as the legitimate child of his parents, whether or nor a decree of nullity is granted in respect of that marriage, if at the time of the act of intercourse resulting in the birth (or at the time of the celebration of the marriage, if later) both or either parties reasonably believed that the marriage was valid.
(2) Where a decree of nullity is granted in respect of a voidable marriage under section 25, any child begotten or conceived before the decree is made who would have been the legitimate child of the parties to the marriage if at the date of the decree it had been dissolved instead of being annulled, shall be deemed to be their legitimate child notwithstanding the decree of nullity.
(3) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as conferring upon any child of a marriage which is void or which is annulled by a decree of nullity, under section 25 any rights in or to the property of any person other than the parents in any case where, but for the passing of this Act, such child would have been incapable of possessing or acquiring any such rights by reason of his not being the legitimate child of his parents."