Report No. 224
IV. Conclusion and Recommendation
4.1 Section 2 of the Divorce Act 1869 insofar as it concerns the jurisdictional rule in regard to petitions for divorce is not only not in tune with the present times but is also harsh upon Christian women in India.
4.2 We, therefore, feel that Section 2 of the Divorce Act 1869 should be suitably amended in order that the Indian courts shall be entitled to entertain a petition for dissolution of a Christian marriage where either of the parties to the marriage is domiciled in India at the time when the petition is presented.
However, this suggestion would also need simultaneous change in the rule of Private International Law as to a wife's domicile, that is, abolition of wife's dependent domicile, as done in England through the Domicile and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1973. In the alternative, following the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act 2003, the said provision may be amended to provide that a petition for divorce may be filed by a Christian wife at the place where she is residing on the date of the presentation of the petition.
4.3 It is further felt that for uniformity, similar position should prevail in regard to all other matrimonial statutes, including the Special Marriage Act 1954, the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1936, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939 and the Hindu Marriage Act 1955.
4.4 We recommend accordingly.