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Report No. 66

6.3. Case of inter-marriage where one party is governed by the Act.-

The second paragraph of section 2, which we have already quoted1, excludes from the Act, cases where only one party is governed by the Act. Thus where a spouse belongs to the excluded community, the Act does not apply even if the other spouse belongs to a community to which it applies. For example, a Christian wife marrying a Hindu would be excluded from the operation of the Act by virtue of this paragraph. The assumption seems to be that the personal law would apply to the husband in such a case and that the Hindu husband would not acquire common law rights merely by marrying a Christian woman.

On the above hypothesis, the English common law does not apply and there is no need to apply the 1874 Act to such a situation. Moreover, section 20, Indian Succession Act would be attracted by virtue of the specific provision in the Special Marriage Act2, which enacts that if the parties marry under the Special Marriage Act, the Indian Succession Act will apply. We do not think that there is any need to change the position in this respect.

1. Para. 6.1, supra.

2. Section 21, Special Marriage Act, 1954.

Married Womens Property Act, 1874 Back

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