Report No. 110
6.3. Section 20.-
In the succession Act, section 20 constitutes the principal provision. No person shall, by marriage, acquire any interest in the property of the person whom he or she marries or become incapable of doing any act in respect of his or her own property which he or she could have done if married. There are two exceptions to this rule-first, the section does not apply to any marriage contracted before the first day of January 1866; secondly, it does not apply to any marriage one or both the parties to which profess at the time of the marriage the Hindu, Mohammedan, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain religion.
The first mentioned exception is historical, and needs no comment. As to the second exception, it may be explained that the object of the section is to abrogate the common law rule (which might otherwise have applied) to the effect that on marriage the married woman becomes subject to certain incapacities or that her property comes, to any extent, to be vested in her husband. Since this rule of the common law was never applicable to Hindus and other persons mentioned above1, there was no need to extend the provision to them. Hence the second exception.
Further, comments on the section will be offered2 in the discussion on section 21, which deals with connected matters.
1. For a detailed discussion, see Law Commission of India, 66th Report (Married Women's Property Act, 1874).
2. Para. 6.4 to 6.6., infra.
6.4. Section 21.-
According to section 21, if a person whose domicile is not in India marries in India a person whose domicile is in India, neither party acquires by the marriage any rights in respect of any property of the other party not comprised in a settlement made previous to the marriage, which he or she would not acquire thereby if both were domiciled in India at the time of the marriage.