Report No. 257
b. Section 19B: Applicability of this chapter.
Custody issues are dealt with in three personal laws, which are, the Indian Divorce Act, 1869 (Sections 41 and 43), the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 (Section 49), and the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (Section 26). In general terms, these sections grant the court the power to pass decree/ order regarding the custody, maintenance and education of minor children, whose parents are parties to a suit for divorce or separation.
The new chapter IIA as recommended by the Law Commission provides for detailed considerations in custody matters, and in that regard, is in addition to the powers of the court as listed in the three personal laws. This new section clarifies that the provisions of this new chapter will apply to all proceedings related to custody and child support, including under the three laws. This cross-reference to the personal laws is provided in the statute to clarify that the recommendations of the Commission are intended to be secular, and applicable to all persons, regardless of the personal laws they may be governed by.