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Report No. 81

Giving of a minor widow in re-marriage.- To revert to the Select Committee, the Committee thought it necessary to provide specially for the giving away of a minor widow. In the case of a bride who was a minor, the giving away by a male relative or by a male of the same caste was understood to be a necessary part of the ceremony of the marriage, but as a widow was considered to have left her father's family and to have become a member of the deceased husband's family doubt might be felt that as to the right of her relative to give her away, unless special provision on the subject was made; and a similar doubt might be felt as to the right of her deceased husband's family to give her away. Her own rights too, both whilst a minor and after coming of age, might be rather doubtful.

One clause provided specially for all these points. The Committee proposed that where a widow was a minor, her own male relatives shall be the persons to give her away exactly as if she were unmarried and their consent shall be necessary to the validity of her marriage, and that if she be of age, her own consent shall be sufficient to constitute the marriage whether she be given away by any male relative or not. As her husband's family may have an interest in inducing a widow to remarry, the Committee thought it right, in the manner stated above, to render the consent of her own family necessary in the case of a minor widow. Under the Hindu law then obtaining, an unmarried girl of full age could give herself away and hence the Committee felt that a widow of full age should have the same power.

Hindu Widows Re-marriage Act, 1856 Back

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