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Report No. 81

6.12. Position of father-in-law and mother-in-law.-

Some questions had arisen as to the position of the father-in-law, vis-a-vis re-marriage of the widowed daughter-in-law. In an Allahabad case,1 the father-in-law was regarded as competent to give the widow in marriage.2 In view of the present position under the Hindu Marriage act as amended,3 it is unnecessary to enter upon any close examination of this view.

It may, however, be stated that even before the passing of the Act of 1955, the Lahore High Court4 had held that neither under the Hindu law nor under the Act of 1856 does the mother-in-law possess the right to give away in marriage her widowed daughter-in-law (the widowed daughter-in-law in that case was below 16). It was observed in that case that section 7 of the Act of 1856 (even if applicable to the case) did not mention the mother-in-law. The texts on the subject5-6-7 of Hindu law were noted, as also the English law8, but these texts also did not mention the mother-in-law as one of the guardians for the marriage of a widow.

1. Paras Ram v. State, AIR 1960 All 749.

2. See criticism by Derrett in (1961) 63 Born LR (Journal), pp. 1 to 4 and article by Laxman Prasad in AIR 1960 Journal, pp. 92 to 94.

3. Para. 6.13, infra.

4. Sant Ram v. Crown, 1929 ILR 11 Loh 178 (Tekchand & Agha Hyder, JJ.).

5. Yajnavalkya I, 63-64.

6. Vishnu XXIV, 38-39.

7. Narada XII, 20-21.

8. Section 16, Re-marriage Act, 1823 (English).

Hindu Widows Re-marriage Act, 1856 Back

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