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

No. 7. Hindu Marriage Act

Existing Provision

S. 5

S.12 (1) (b)

Suggested Amendments by NCW

S.5 - One of the conditions specified in the section for a valid marriage is that neither party has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy (Cl. (ii) (c ). - Effect to this provision read with S. 12 ( 1 ) (b) of the Act is that a marriage of an epileptic person becomes voidable and may be annulled at the option of the petitioner if it is proved that at the time of marriage the respondent was epileptic.

It has been observed by psychiatrists and neurologists that some modern medical treatment can bring epilepsy under complete control and also prevent epileptic seizure in majority of the cases.

Commission reiterated its recommendations to the Ministry of Law to consider the feasibility of omitting the words 'or epilepsy' occurring in S.5 (ii) ( c ) of the Act.

General Suggestions and Remarks

The tragic victims of this provision of law are mostly women.

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