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Report No. 66

9.4. Recommendation to make section 7 comprehensive as to liability.-

Whatever be the true construction of the section as it is now worded, we are of the view that a married woman should, in respect of the matters dealt with in the section be placed on the same footing as an unmarried woman, and that the section should be revised for the purpose. It is true that no woman has ever been debarred from suing or being sued, but it is desirable to make the statement of the law comprehensive. The obsolete theory of unity of the spouses should be put an end to, by an express provision. A married woman should in all respects, be placed on the same footing as an unmarried woman.

In coming to this conclusion, we have been impressed by the consideration that the common law concept of merger, on which the requirement about the joinder of the husband to litigation against the wife is based, is out of date. The principle of unity of the spouses has been modified by the Act, but what remains of that principle, should be put an end to. That is our main reason for recommending a change as above.

Married Womens Property Act, 1874 Back

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