Report No. 81
Re-Marriage, Maintenance and Succession
2.1. Act of 1856-Genesis.-
The Act of 1856 is an Act removing all legal obstacles to the marriage of Hindu widows1. It was enacted because, as the first paragraph of the Preamble to the Act stated in 1856, Hindu widows, with certain exceptions were, by reason of their having once married, held to be incapable of contracting a second valid marriage and the offsprings of such widows by any second marriage were held to be illegitimate and incapable of inheriting property. The object of the Act, as narrated in the third paragraph of the Preamble to the Act, was to "relieve all such Hindus from this legal incapacity of which they complained2 and the removal of all legal obstacles to the marriage of Hindu widows".
1. Cf. Peacock C.J. in Akora Suth v. Boreani, (1868) 2 BLR 199 (205).
2. See Appendix for historical background.