Law Commission Floats Consultation Paper on Family Law Reform (Important) (Download PDF)


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Law Commission floated Consultation Paper on family law reform. Paper discusses range of provisions w/i all family laws, secular or personal & suggests number of changes in form of potential amendments & fresh enactments.

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Image of Multiple Lessons

Image of Multiple Lessons

Key Suggestions of Paper

Family Laws

  • Paper discusses introduction of new grounds for ‘no-fault’ divorce accompanied by corresponding changes to provisions on alimony & maintenance.

  • It further discusses changes to provisions on rights of differently-abled individuals w/i marriage, 30-day period for registration of marriages under Special Marriage Act, uncertainty & inequality in age of consent for marriage, compulsory registration of marriage & bigamy upon conversion.

Hindu Law

  • It discusses problems w/provisions such as restitution of conjugal rights.

  • It suggests inclusion of concepts such as ‘community of property’ of married couple, abolition of coparcenary & rights of illegitimate children.

  • It makes suggestions for addressing self-acquired property of Hindu female.

Muslim Law

  • Paper suggests reform in inheritance law thru codification of Muslim law on inheritance, while ensuring that codified law is gender just.

  • It discusses rights of widow & changes application to general laws such as introduction of community of (self-acquired) property after marriage & inclusion of irretrievable breakdown of marriage as ground for divorce.

Parsi Law

  • Paper makes suggestions relating to protecting married women’s right to inherit property even if they marry outside their community.

Juvenile Law

  • Paper suggests expansion of Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection) Act, 2015 to make it into robust secular law that can be accessed by individuals of all communities for adoption.

  • It makes suggestions for amending guidelines for adoption & suggestion to alter language of Act to accommodate all gender identities.

Guardianship Laws

  • Paper discusses gap w/i custody & guardianship laws, statutory or customary & suggests that ‘best interest of child’ has to remain paramount consideration in deciding matters of custody regardless of any prevailing personal law in place.

Other Suggestions

  • Paper discussed number issues such as polygamy, nikah halala, settlement of Parsi wife’s property for benefit of children & law on adultery but since they are presently being heard by Supreme Court, paper did not suggest any comprehensive changes at this stage.

For detailed consultation paper: -

Link: Consultation Paper on Reform of Family Law

- Published/Last Modified on: October 18, 2018

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