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Report No. 110

XIII. Unmarried Women and Widows

5.76. Section 16A (New)-Widow's domicile.-

It is necessary at this stage to discuss one question concerning the domicile of unmarried women. The sections in the Act deal with married women. The position of widows, as regards domicile, is not dealt with in any specific provision of the Act. In England, it is well-settled that a widow retains her late husband's domicile (after his death), until she changes it.1-2

A similar rule should be introduced into our Act, the soundness and practical utility of such a rule being obvious. The situation is outside sections 9 and 16, though falling partly within section 13. A new section on the subject, say, as section 16A, could be inserted, if the present scheme of sections 15-16 is to be retained.

1. Wallace (in re:), (1950) 1 All ER 199 and case law discussed in Schullard's Estate (in re:), (1956) 3 All ER 898 (902 to 904).

2. See also note by P.B. Carter in (1957) BYIL 329, 332.

5.77. Divorced women.-

A similar rule could be made applicable in relation, to divorcee also, since the same reason applies, in substance, to divorce.

5.78. Recommendation to insert section 16A.-

Accordingly, we recommend that (if the present scheme of sections 15-16 is retained) section 16A should be inserted in these terms:-

"16A. (1) A widow retains, after the death of her husband, her late husband's last domicile, until she changes it in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(2) A divorced woman retains, after the divorce, her former husband's last domicile until she changes it in accordance with the provisions of this Act."

The Indian Succession Act, 1925 Back

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