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15. Relief in case of opposition on certain grounds.

16. Decrees for dissolution to be nisi.


17. Confirmation of decree for dissolution by District Judge.

IV.-Nullity of Marriage.

18. Petition for decree of nullity.

19. Grounds of decree.

20. Confirmation of District Judge's decree.

21. Children of annulled marriage.

V-Judicial Separation.

22. Bar to decree for divorce a menså et toro; but judicial separation obtainable by husband or wife.

23. Application for separation made by petition.

24. Separated wife deemed spinster with respect to after-acquired property. 25. Separated wife deemed spinster for purposes of contract and suing.

Reversal of decree of Separation.

26. Decree of separation obtained during absence of husband or wife may be reversed.


27. Deserted wife may apply to Court for protection.

28. Court may grant protection-order.

29. Discharge or variation of orders.

30. Liability of husband seizing wife's property after notice of order. 31. Wife's legal position during continuance of order.

VII-Restitution of Conjugal Rights.

32. Petition for restitution of conjugal rights.

33. Answer to petition.

VIII.-Damages and Costs.

34. Husband may claim damages from adulterer.

35. Power to order adulterer to pay costs.

Power to order litigious intervenor to pay costs.

36. Alimony pendente lite.


37. Power to order permanent alimony.

Power to order monthly or weekly payments.

38. Court may direct payment of alimony to wife or to her trustee.


39. Power to order settlement of wife's property for benefit of husband and


Settlement of damages.

40. Inquiry into existence of ante-nuptial or post-nuptial settlements.

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41. Power to make orders as to custody of children in suit for separation. 42. Power to make such orders after decree.

43. Power to make orders as to custody of children in suits for dissolution or nullity.

44. Power to make such orders after decree or confirmation.


45. Code of Civil Procedure to apply.
46. Forms of petitions and statements.
47. Stamp on petition.

Petition to state absence of collusion.
Statements to be verified.

48. Suits on behalf of lunatics.
49. Suits by minors.

50. Service of petition.

51. Mode of taking evidence.

52. Competence of husband and wife to give evidence as to cruelty or deser

- tion.

53. Power to close doors.

54. Power to adjourn.

55. Enforcement of, and appeals from, orders and decrees.

No appeal as to costs.

56. Appeal to Queen in Council.


57. Liberty to parties to marry again.

58. English clergyman not compelled to solemnize marriages of persons divorced for adultery.

59. English minister refusing to perform ceremony to permit use of his church.


60. Decree for separation or protection-order valid as to persons dealing with wife before reversal.

Indemnity of persons making payment to wife without notice of reversal of decree or protection-order.

61. Bar of suit for criminal conversation.

62. Power to make rules.



1. Petition by husband for a dissolution of marriage with damages against co-respondent, by reason of adultery.

2. Respondent's statement in answer to No. 1.

3. Co-respondent's statement in answer to No. 1.

4. Petition for decree of nullity of marriage.

5. Petition by wife for judicial separation on the ground of her husband's adultery.

6. Statement in answer to No. 5.

7. Statement in reply to No. 6.


(I.-Preliminary. Secs. 1-2.)

8. Petition for a judicial separation by reason of cruelty.

9. Statement in answer to No. 8.

10. Petition for reversal of decree of separation.

11. Petition for protection-order.

12. Petition for alimony pending the suit.

13. Statement in answer to No. 12.

14. Undertaking by minor's next friend to be answerable for respondent's costs.

ACT No. IV OF 1869.1

[26th February, 1869.]


Short title.

An Act to amend the law relating to Divorce and Matrimonial
Causes in India.

WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the law relating to the divorce of persons professing the Christian religion, and to confer upon certain Courts jurisdiction in matters matrimonial; It is hereby enacted as follows:


1. This Act may be called the Indian Divorce Act, and shall come into ment of Act. operation on the first day of April, 1869.

Extent of


Extent of

2. This Act shall extend to the whole of British India, and (so far only as regards British subjects within the dominions hereinafter mentioned) to the dominions of Princes and States in India in alliance with Her Majesty.

Nothing hereinafter contained shall authorize any Court to grant any

1 For Statement of Objects and Reasons, see Calcutta Gazette, 1863, p. 173; for Report of Select Committee, see Gazette of India, 1869, p. 192; for Proceedings in Council, see Calcutta Gazette, 1862, Supplement, p. 463, ibid, 1863, Supplement, p. 43, and Gazette of India, 1869, Supplement, p. 291.

This Act extends to India the principal provisions of the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1857 (20 & 21 Vict,, c. 85), as amended by the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1859 (22 & 23 Vict., c. 61), the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1860 (23 & 21 Vict., c. 144) and the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1866 (29 & 30 Vict., c. 32). It also embodies many rulings of Sir Cresswell Cresswell and Lord Penzance.

It has been declared in force in Upper Burma generally (except the Shan States) by the Upper Burma Laws Act, 1886 (XX of 1886), Sch. II, Pt. I, printed, Burma Code, Ed. 1889, p. 369; the Arakan Hill District, see Schedule to the Arakan Hill District Laws Regulation, 1874 (IX of 1874), Burma Code, Ed. 1889, p. 360; Angul and the Khondmals, see Schedule to the Angul District Regulation, 1894 (I of 1894); the Santhal Parganas by s. 3 of the Santhal Parganas Settlement Regulation (III of 1872) as amended by the Santhal Parganas Laws Regulation, 1886 (III of 1886), printed, Bengal Code, Ed. 1889, p. 597; British Baluchistan by the Baluchistan Laws Regulation, 1890 (1 of 1890), Baluchistan Code, Ed. 1890, p. 72.

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It has been declared, by notification under s. 3 (a) of the Scheduled Districts Act, 1874 (XIV of 1874), printed, infra, p. 467, to be in force in the following Scheduled Districts, namely: the Districts of Hazáribágh, Lohárdaga (including the present district of Palamau) and Mánbhum, and Pargana Dhálbhum and the Kolhán in the District of Singbhum, see Gazette of India, 1881, Pt. I, p. 504;

the Scheduled Districts in Ganjám and Vizagapatam, see Fort St. George Gazette, 1898, Pt. I, p. 666.

It has been extended, by notification under s. 5 of the same Act, to the North-Western Provinces Tarái, see Gazette of India, 1876, Pt. I, p. 505.

The Limitation Act does not apply to suits under this Act, see the Indian Limitation Act, 1877 (XV of 1877), s. 1, printed, General Acts, Vol. III.

24 & 25 Vict., c. 104.

KI of 1889.

(I.-Preliminary. Sec. 3.)

relief under this Act, except in cases where the petitioner professes the Christ- power to ian religion and resides in India at the time of presenting the petition,

decrees of

grant relief generally, or to make decrees of dissolution of marriage except in the following and to make cases :-(a) where the marriage shall have been solemnized in India; or (b) dissolution, where the adultery, rape or unnatural crime complained of shall have been committed in India; or (c) where the husband has, since the solemnization of the marriage, exchanged his profession of Christianity for the profession of some other form of religion;

or to make decrees of nullity of marriage except in cases where the marriage or of nullity. has been solemnized in India.

3. In this Act, unless there be something repugnant in the subject or Interpreta

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in any Regulation province-the Court there established under the Court."
Act of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth of Victoria, chapter one
hundred and four;1

in the territories for the time being subject to the government of
the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab-the Chief Court of the
Punjab ;

2[in Burma-the Special Court constituted under the Lower Burma
Courts Act, 1889 ;]

and in any other Non-Regulation province and in any place in the
dominions of the Princes and States of India in alliance with Her
Majesty the High Court or Chief Court to whose original criminal
jurisdiction the petitioner is for the time being subjec, or would be
subject if he or she were a European British subject of Her
Majesty :

In the case of any petition under this Act, "High Court" is that one of
the aforesaid Courts within the local limits of whose ordinary appellate juris-
diction, or of whose jurisdiction under this Act, the husband and wife reside
or last resided together:

(2) "District Judge " means,-3

in the Regulation provinces-a Judge of a principal Civil Court of "District
original jurisdiction;

The Indian High Courts Act, 1861, printed," Collection of Statutes relating to India," Vol.
II, Ed. 1881, p. 713.

2 These words were substituted for the words "in British Burma-the High Court of Judica-
ture at Fort William in Eengal," by s. 97 and the second schedule to the Lower Burma Courts
Act, 1889 (XI of 1889), printed, Burma Code, Ed. 1889, p. 299.

Under the powers conferred by s. 6 of the Scheduled Districts Act, 1874 (XIV of 1874), the powers of a "District Judge " were conferred on the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi and Jaintia Hills, the Garo Hills District and the Nágá Hills, see p. 12 of the Assam Manual of Local Rules and Orders, Ed. 1893, and Assam Gazette, 1897, Pt. II, p. 591, and 1898, Pt. I, p. 741, respectively.

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