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Report No. 59

6.19. Proper approach.-

We are of the view that having regard to Indian conditions, the law should not be so narrowly confined as has been done in England1. No doubt, scope should not be left for all kinds of flimsy excuses for avoiding a marriage on the ground of fraud. But, at the same time, serious injustice is likely to result if fraud affecting vital matters (such as, absence of a particular disease) is totally disregarded. We do not see any reason in justice for forcing the parties to hold on to a marriage when one of them has been cheated by or on behalf of the other on essential matters, even if those matters do not pertain to the ceremony or the identity of the party marrying. It should be noted that as to the actual situation in Moss v. Mossy, 1897 Probate 263, para. 6.18, supra, the legislature2 had to intervene in England. This shows that the test adopted there is not totally satisfactory.

1. Paras. 6.18 and 6.18A, supra.

2. Present provision as to pre-marital pregnancy is in section 12(f), Matrimonial Causes Act, 1973.

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

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