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Report No. 66

Married Women's Property Act, 1874

Chapter 1

Introductory

1.1. Scope of the Report.-

A hundred years ago was passed the Married Women's Right to Property Act, 1874, which1 sought to free married women from certain anachronistic rules of the common law which were regarded as applicable, to persons of certain communities in India also. This is a short Act, containing only 10 sections, but, as our Report will show, it raises certain important issues.

A few years before the Act was passed, section 4 of the Indian Succession Act, 1865, had established the principle that by marriage the husband does not acquire any rights in the property of the wife. A few years later, legislation recognising what is known as the restraint on anticipation in case of married women, was enacted in section 10 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. These legislative provisions have, during a century or so of their existence, given rise to certain problems and difficulties and the Law Commission, in the International. Women's Year, 1975 considered it appropriate to take up these provisions for examination with a view to suggesting such changes as may be necessary for their improvement.

1. The Act will be referred to in brief as the Act of 1874.



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