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Report No. 23

Chapter IV

Matrimonial Relief in Respect of Foreign Marriages

18. Matrimonial relief to be under Special Marriage Act, 1954.-

(1) Subject to the other provisions contained in this section, the provisions of Chapters IV, V, VI and VII of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (43 of 1954), shall apply in relation to marriages solemnized under this Act and to any other marriage solemnized in a foreign country between parties of whom one at least is a citizen of India as they apply in relation to marriages solemnized under that Act.

(2) Every petition for relief under Chapter V or Chapter VI of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (43 of 1954), as made applicable to the marriages referred to in sub-section (1), shall be presented to the district court within the local limits of whose ordinary civil jurisdiction-

(a) the respondent is residing at the time of the presentation of the petition; or

(b) the husband and wife last resided together; or

(c) the petitioner is residing at the time of the presentation of the petition, provided that the respondent is at that time residing outside India.

[Cf. section 31(1), S.M.A. and clause 36C, 14B.]

(3) Nothing contained in this section shall authorise any court-

(a) to make any decree of dissolution of marriage, except where

(i) the parties to the marriage are domiciled in India at the time of the presentation of the petition; or

(ii) the petitioner, being the wife, was domiciled in India immediately before the marriage and has been residing in India for a period of not less than three years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition;

(b) to make any decree of nullity of marriage, except where -

(i) the parties to the marriage are domiciled in India at the time of the presentation of the petition; or

(ii) the marriage was solemnised under this Act and the petitioner is either domiciled or residing in India at the time of the presentation of the petition;

[Cf. section 31(2), S.M.A.]

(c) to grant any other relief under Chapter V or Chapter VI of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (43 of 1954), except where the petitioner is residing in India at the time of the presentation of the petition.

Explanation 1.- In its application to the marriages referred to in sub-section (1), section 24 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (43 of 1954), shall be subject to the following modifications, namely:-

(i) the reference in sub-section (1) thereof to clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d) of section 4 of that Act shall be construed as a reference to clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d) respectively of section 4 of this Act, and

(ii) nothing contained in section 24 aforesaid shall apply to any marriage -

(a) which is not solemnised under this Act; or

(b) which is deemed to be solemnised under this Act by reason of the provisions contained in section 17:

Provided that the registration of any such marriage as is referred to in clause (b) may be declared to be of no effect if the registration was in contravention of sub-section (2) of section 17.

Explanation II.-In this section, 'district court' has the same meaning as in the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (43 of 1954).

(4) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall authorise any court to grant any relief under this Act in relation to any marriage in a foreign country not solemnised under it, if the grant of relief in respect of such marriage whether on any of the grounds specified in the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (43 of 1954), or otherwise is available under any other law for the time being in force.



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