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Report No. 23

18. Form of proposed legislation.-

(a) Our recommendation1 being that we should on the several topics mentioned above draw from the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, the question naturally arises as to how that could best be done. The proposed legislation can be framed in any one of the following four modes:

(i) We may draft a separate and self-contained Act. This will deal both with marriage and with matrimonial causes, not by referring to the Chapters in the Special Marriage Act and the Christian Marriage Bill, but by enacting the provisions therein in full.

(ii) We may draft a separate Act without making it self-contained, and incorporate therein, by reference, the provisions relating to marriage in Chapters IV, V, VI and VII of the Special Marriage Act, 1954. This will be shorter than No. (i) above.

(iii) We may insert a new Chapter in the Special Marriage Act; the Chapter itself would not be self-contained, but would refer back to the provisions in other Chapters relating to marriage as well as matrimonial causes.

(iv) A fourth course would be to amend section 1(2) and section 4(e) of the Special Marriage Act, so as to allow marriage in the special marriage form where one party is a citizen of India. This would be shorter than No. (iii) above. Consequential amendments may be required in other sections also.

After careful consideration, we have reached the conclusion that course No. (ii) above2 is the best. The usual objection to referential legislation-that it often leads to ambiguity-will not apply in this case. For the purposes of matrimonial relief, there is hardly any difference between a foreign marriage solemnised under the proposed law and a marriage solemnised in India under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. This device has the additional advantage of avoiding unnecessary repetition of a major portion of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, in the proposed law.

1. See para. 17, supra.

2. Para. 18(a)(ii), supra.

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