Report No. 59
2.32. Section 15.-
We now consider the proposal which relates to section 15 of the Hindu Marriage Act. Under the main paragraph of the section, when a marriage has been dissolved by a decree of divorce and either there is no right of appeal against the decree, or if there is such a right the time for appealing has expired without an appeal having been presented, or an appeal has been presented, but has been dismissed, it shall be lawful for either party to marry again. Under the proviso to the section, it shall not be lawful for the respective parties to marry again unless, at the date of such marriage, one year has elapsed from the date of the decree in the court of the first instance.
The proposal now is that this proviso should be deleted. Apparently, the assumption is that the prohibition against the marriage during the period of appeal or during the period allowed for filing an appeal, whichever is the longer, is enough, and the further restriction that one year must have elapsed from the date of the decree in the court of the first instance, is not required. In England there is no such restriction of one year1 but there are, in most matrimonial causes, two decrees in England-nisi and absolute. The minimum period between the two decrees is three months2. A degree absolute can be expedited in certain cases3.
The primary object of the prohibition against remarriage in section 15, proviso, is two-fold, first, avoiding confusion of parentage, and second, checking an attempt to obtain divorce from one woman with the specific object of marrying another woman. We think that the consideration of the parties, freedom to marry and the inconvenience caused by the present law, should outweigh the above advantages. The proviso should, therefore, be deleted from section 15 of the Hindu Marriage Act. It may incidentally be noted that the breach of section 15 renders the second marriage void4.
1. Section 8, Matrimonial Causes Act, 1965, re-enacting section 13 of the Act of 1950.
2. Matrimonial Causes (Decree Absolute) General Order, 1957, First Schedule, para. 1.
3. Practice Direction in (1964) 1 WLR 1473.
1. Uma Charan v. Kajal, AIR 1971 Cal 307 (Reviews cases).