Report No. 65
Letter from the Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs
March 13, 1975
D.O. No. F. 7(6)/75-IC
My Dear Gajendragadkar Saheb,
I am sure the learned Members of your Commission have read with interest the judgment of Supreme Court in Smt. Satya v. Teja Singh, AIR 1975 SC 105 refusing to recognise a decree of divorce obtained by Hindu husband against his Hindu wife from a Nevada court on the ground, inter alia, that it was obtained by fraud. The Court (Chandrachud J.) after noting that a divorce decree granted by a foreign court is recognised in another jurisdiction as a matter of comity, public policy and good morals but that comity does not require a country to give effect to the divorce laws of another which are repugnant to its own laws and public policy, observed at page 117:-
"Unhappily, the marriage between the appellant and respondent has a limp. They will be treated as divorced in Nevada but their bond of matrimony will remain unsnapped in India, the country of their domicile.
"Our legislature ought to find a solution to such schizoid situations as the British Parliament has, to a large extent, done by passing the 'Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations Act, 1971'. Perhaps, the International Hague Convention of 1970 which contains a comprehensive scheme for relieving the confusion caused by differing systems of conflict of laws may serve as a model. But any such law shall have to provide for non-recognition of foreign decrees procured by fraud bearing on jurisdictional facts as also for the non-recognition of decrees, the recognition of which would be contrary to our public policy."
May I, therefore, request you to get the matter examined by the Law Commission and favour us with a report.
With warm personal regards.
Dr. P.B. Gajendragadkar,
Chairman, Law Commission, New Delhi.
We would like to place on record our warm appreciation of the valuable assistance we have received from Shri Bakshi, Member-Secretary of the Commission in the preparation of this Report.
P.B. Gajendragadkar, Chairman.
P.K. Tripathi, Member.
S.S. Dhavan, Member.
S.P. Sen-Varma, Member.
B.C. Mitra, Member.
P.M. Bakshi, Member-secretary.
Dated: April 5, 1976.