The Caste Disabilities Removal Act, 1850

The present Act is one from the British India under the East India Company ruling and the same was named and short titled as ‘the Caste Disabilities Removal Act, 1850’ (Act no. 21 of 1850) by the Indian Short titles Act, 1897 (Act no. 14 of 1897). And ultimate object and purpose of this Act is to extend certain principles of the Bengal Code, throughout India. Earlier such extension was sought throughout the territories which were subjected to the Government of the East India Company, as there was British rule in India, however the same was taken off and replaced with the India by the Act no. 3 of 1951, which was enacted by the legislature of Independent India. The present Act was enacted by the Governor General of India in Council on 11th day of April, 1850 and on the same date it was assented too. And for its extension, the Amending Act of 1951 added the same, saying that the said provisions of the Act should be extended to the entire territories of India, however, the State of Jammu and Kashmir was exempted from such extension.

Also there were enacted several laws, under which the mentioned areas and territories were to be extended with the provisions of this Act, including the Act of Berar Laws Act, 1941, which was enacted to extend the provisions of the present Act of 1850 to the Berar; by the Laws Local Extent Act, 1874, in all the Provinces of India, except the Scheduled Districts; by the Sonathal Pargnas Settlement Regulation, 1872, in the Sonthal Parganas; by Regulation of 1963, in the Dadra and Nagar Haveli; by the Act of 1968, in the Union territory of Pondicherry and by other laws the provisions of this present Act were extended to the Districts.

The contemplation which was enacted by the Section 9, Regulation VII, 1832, being Bengal’s regulation of the Bengal Code was sought to be extended by this Act to the territories throughout India. Said provided was enacted to provide for operation of the religious laws for entitling the party or parties as to any property. The reference of the party or parties as aforesaid, is in relation to the civil suit, wherein the parties belonging to the different persuasions like one is of Hindu persuasion and another is of Mohammaden persuasion or some of the parities are not of any such persuasion.

In so far as the provisions of the present Act are concerned, there are two sections in the enactment, and the first in which was providing for taking effect of the then Laws or Usages which were having force in India to the effect that any rights or properties which a person was owner of, were to be forfeited under those laws or usages as on his change of his religion or even on his being removed or excluded from the Communion of such religion. Such laws or usages were also sought to be made effectless, which are impairing or affecting any right of inheritance, by reason of such persons renouncing the religion or his being excluded from the communion of such religion, or even if his being deprived of caste.

Unlike the enactments from the present era, the provisions dealing with the short titling and extension of the Act, as afore discussed were contained in the ending part of the Act.

However, the said Bengal Code under which the provisions were sought to be extended throughout the Indian territories was repealed by the Bengal Civil Courts Act, 1871 (Act no. 6 of 1871) and the said Act of 1871 was also by the Bengal, North-Western Provinces and Assam Civil Courts Act, 1887 (Act no. 12 of 1887).

As such the present law is contemplating the provisions for abolishing all laws affecting the rights of persons who converts from one religion or caste to another. However, the present Act was recommended by the P C Jain Commission report (Appendix -D), however, the same was not repealed that time.

Download & Read the Bare Act: The Caste Disabilities Removal Act, 1850-pdf

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