The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936

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Marriage as a institution which holds the universal criteria and acts as the foundation for any type of family, marriages acts as the union between the men and women for a life time and there are many ceremonies and different cultures prevails over institution of marriage in India. Marriage is a basic social, cultural and legal institution which involves rights and obligations by choosing of one’s own life partner even though it differs from culture to culture. Parsis been originated from Country of Iran to India and there exist the need for the particular community to deals with the marriage and its connected terms. Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette has enacted law relating to the Parsis and it called as the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936. The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Central Government as specified in the Act by notification in the Official Gazette direct that the provisions relating to the Act directly relates to the constitution and powers of Parsi Matrimonial Courts. There are certain Requisites to validity of Parsi marriages as specified under Section 3 they are no marriage in parsi should be valid if the parties relating to the marriage are related to each other in degrees of consanguinity and when marriage is not taken place by the ceremony of parsi marriage. Parsi remarriage would be unlawful when the marriage been contrary to the provision of Section 4(1) be void. Act punishes the person for the offence of marrying again as specified as bigamy as laid in Sections 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Every marriage which solemnized under the Act be certified by the official priest as specified in Section 6 and there shall be a registrar for the proper registration of marriage under the Act, Registrar as laid in Section 7 appointed within the civil jurisdiction of High Court.

There are special Courts constituted under Section 18 of the Act for the purpose of dealing with the suits laid under the Act, Special Courts constituted in each of Presidency-towns of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay and in several other places as the Central Government thinks fit. There been Parsi Chief Matrimonial Courts constituted in each of Presidency-towns, Chief Justice of High Court or any other Courts acts as the Chief Justice to deal with the matters concerned. Other than Special Courts and Chief Matrimonial Courts , Parsi District Matrimonial Courts constituted under Section 20 at a place other than a presidency-town, State Government has power under Section 21 to alter  territorial jurisdiction of the Parsi District Matrimonial Courts and to include any number of districts within Chief Matrimonial Court.

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State Government has the authority under Section 25 to appoint a person as delegate to aid in the adjudication of cases which arising in the Act, all the delegated appointed under Act deemed as the public servants as specified in Indian Penal Code and can continue his office for term of ten years and entitled to re-appointment. Under Section 29 all legal practitioners who are eligible to practice in High Court and in District Court can practice  in any Court as specified in Act which includes Parsi District Matrimonial Court. All suits been brought in Court where the defendant resides at time of Institution or at the place where the parties to the suit lastly resided together.

Any married person can file divorce by fulfilling the grounds of divorce as laid in Section 32 of Act, as the marriage not been consummated within one year, the defendant been unsound mind at the time of marriage or incurable from unsound mind after the term of two years can file divorce. Divorce can be given to parties by mutual consent subject to the provisions laid in Parsi Marriage and Divorce (Amendment) Act, 1988. Parties who aggrieved by the order can make appeal to High Court as laid under Section 47, an appeal can lie against the decision of any Court which includes Parsi District Matrimonial Court and Chief Matrimonial Court where the order or direction been erred in law or in proceedings. The Court under Section 49 of Act may pass interim orders and make final decree in matters relating to the custody, maintenance of children under the age of eighteen years where the marriage of parents of children subjected to suit. As specified under Section 51 High Court has superintendence over all the Courts which constituted under the Acts as specified in Article 227 of the Indian Constitution

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by Priyadarshini Chandrasekar