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Report No. 90

4.3. Rules of canon law as to nullity of marriage.-

We have very carefully examined the suggestion for recognising a Church pronouncement of nullity and in this context have also had a look at the rules of canon law pertaining to "impediments" to marriage, as applicable to Roman Catholics. These rules are fairly elaborate; they contain a lengthy set of provisions that seem to have developed across the centuries, so as to assume their present sophisticated shape. We do not consider it necessary to quote or summarise them here.1 But having devoted careful thought to the matter, we nerve come to the conclusion that if would not be quite appropriate to insert in the law a sweeping provision for the recognition of a pronouncement of nullity made by a Church authority.

We are afraid that this would have the effect of introducing considerable confusion in the law and its administration. Some of the grounds of nullity of marriage as recognised in canon law may overlap the grounds of nullity expressly permitted or impliedly recognised by section 19 of the Indian Divorce Act a section which we shall presently discuss in detail. It is possible that in a particular case, the Church authority, while adjudicating on the facts alleged as constituting a particular ground of nullity might have taken one view of the matter, while the civil court, when moved by appropriate proceedings, might take a different view on the same facts.

1. These have been extracted in Appendix 2. The source from which they have been extracted may not be up-to-date, but we understand that there have not been substantial changes.

The Grounds of Divorce amongst Christians in India - Section 10 of the Indian Divorce Act, 1869 Back

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