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Report No. 66

1.9. Object.-

In the statement of Objects and Reasons,1 annexed to the Bill which led to the Married Women's Property Act, 1874, the object was thus stated-

"The Indian Succession Act (X of 1865), section 4, declares that no person shall by marriage acquire any interest in the property of the person whom he or she married. This section, however, does not apply to marriages contracted before the 1st January, 1866, and, in the case of persons married after that day, the Act does not protect the husband from liability from the debts of his wife contracted before marriage, nor does it expressly provide for the enforcement of claims by or against such wives.

"The objects of the present Bill are, first, to extend the protection afforded to wives by section 4 of the Succession Act (so far as regards future wages and earnings and policies of insurance) to women married before 1st January, 1866; secondly, to declare that a married woman may sue in her own name for any property which by force of the Succession Act, or the proposed Act, is her separate property; thirdly, to relieve the husband of a wife married after the 31st December, 1865, from her antenuptial debts; and, lastly, to declare that any person entering into a contract with a wife (otherwise than as her husband's agent), shall be entitled to sue her, and, to the extent of her separate property, to recover against her whatever he might have recovered had she been unmarried."

1. Gazette of India, 1873, Pt. V, p. 457.



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