Review of Laws and Legislative Measures Affecting Women
by National Commission for Women (NCW)

No.20. The Christian Marriage Bill, 2000

Proposed Amendments by Government
  1. To substitute the definition of 'Desertion' given in Section 2 of the proposed Government Draft.

  2. To substitute the 'ground of nullity' of marriage given in Section 24 (1)(b) of Act.

  3. Section 38 : Adulterer or adulteress to be correspondent to be substituted.

Suggested Amendments by NCW

  1. Section 2: - 'Desertion means the withdrawal from cohabitation with the petitioner of other party to the marriage without reasonable cause and without the consent or against the will of such party and included the willful neglect of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage'.

  2. Section 24 (1)(b): 'That the respondent was important at the time of the marriage and at the time of the institution of the suit.'

  3. To add the following provision as one of the grounds for nullity of marriage - 'that one of the spouses has been proved on medical examination to be suffering from any incurable genetic disorders inhibiting the consummation of the marriage'.

  4. Delete the entire Section 40 which provides for decree nisi for divorce. However, the following consequential manedments would need to be made:

In Section 31 - Remarriage of divorced persons i) ' The word has been made absolute under Section 40 or a decree of divorce has been passed under Section 21' should be deleted and would read as ' Where a decree of divorce has been passed and the leave for appealing ����.', ii) In Section 28 - ' No petition for divorce to be presented within one year of marriage - ' the word 'nisi' shall be deleted and Section 28 would read as ����'Provided���but any such leave may, in the interest of justice be revoked by the court any time before a decree of divorce is passed and where the leave is���

Section 42 : Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings and Section 43: Permanent alimony and maintenance. 'The commission reiterated its earlier suggestions in respect of Section 125 of Cr. P.C.

The Commission reserves its comments on Section 44: Disposal of property - at it would like to examine it in terms of the provisions in the laws in force in Goa. As provision for properties acquired by wife or husband after decree of judicial separation was not available in Government Draft, the following provisions may be incorporated - 'Properties acquired by the wife or husband after decree of judicial separation - 'i) In every case of judicial separation under this Act, the wife/husband shall from the date of the judgement and while the separation continues e considered as unmarried with respect to property of every description which she / he may acquire or which may come to or devolve upon her/him; ii) Such property may be disposed by her/him in all respect as an unmarried women/man and on her/his demise the same shall in case she/he dies, intestate, go as the same would have gone if her/his husband/wife had been the dead. Provided that if any such wife/husband again cohabits with his/her wife/husband, all such property as she / he may be entitled to when such cohabitation takes place shall be held to agreement in writing made between the parties while separate.

Section 38 : The provision of 'Adulterer or adulteress to be substituted as follows - On a petition for divorce or judicial separation presented on the ground of adultery, the petitioner shall make the alleged adulterer or adulteress a co-respondent, unless the petitioner is excused by the court from so doing on any of the following grounds viz., a) that the respondent is living in adultery and that the petitioner knows of no person with whom the adultery has been committed; ii) that the name of alleged adulterer or adulteress is unknown to the petitioner although the petitioner has made due efforts to discover it;, iii)that the alleged adulterer or adulteress is dead; iv) any other ground which the Court may regard to be sufficient in the circumstances of the case. Explanation: The provisions of sub-section (1) shall so far as may be apply in relation to the answer of respondent praying for divorce or judicial separation on the ground of adultery, as they apply in relation to petition for divorce or judicial separation presented on that ground.


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