Report No. 66
1.3. Application of the Act of 1874.-
While many of the provisions of the Act of 1874 are not applicable to the majority of Indian women, a very important section-section 6-is so applicable. That section deals with the effect of certain arrangements that may be made by the husband for the benefit of his wife or children or both his wife and children, in relation to policies of life insurance. The sociological importance of these arrangements is obvious. In making this provision, which is a very beneficial one, the legislature showed awareness of the financial interests of the wife, and her dependence on the husband as the provider for the family.
The provision is intended to protect the monetary security offered by such arrangements which, in a sense, are to be considered as substitutes for the economic security offered by matrimony. While marriage does not grant to either spouse a right in the property of the other spouse, it does create expectations of emotional as well as economic support from the other spouse. This is particularly so in the case of the wife. The family is still an economic unit. Section 6, which is vitally concerned with the economic welfare of the wife and children, takes, note of this aspect, and proceeds to make certain provisions intended to render more effective the arrangements made by the husband in relation to the disposal of moneys to be received on an insurance of his life.