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Section 16 – The Hindu Marriage Act,1955

The Hindu Marriage Act,1955


16. Legitimacy of children of void and voidable, marriages.-


1 Legitimacy of children of void and voidable, marriages.- Where a decree of nullity is granted in respect of any marriage under section 11 or section 12, any child begotten or conceived before the decree is made who would have been the legitimate child of the parties to the marriage if it had been dissolved instead of having been declared null and void or annulled by a decree of nullity shall be deemed to be their legitimate child notwithstanding the decree of nullity :


Provided that nothing contained in this section shall be construed as conferring upon any child of a marriage which is declared null and void or annulled by a decree of nullity any rights in or to the property of any person other than the parents in any case where, but for the passing of this Act, such child would have been incapable of possessing or acquiring any such rights by reason of his not being the legitimate child of his parents.




Status of Children from void & voidable marriage


Section 16 of the Act, while engrafting a rule of fiction in ordaining the children, though illegitimate, to be treated as legitimate, notwithstanding that the marriage was void or voidable chose also to confine its application, so far as succession or inheritance by such children is concerned, to the properties of the parents only a laudable and noble act of the legislature indeed in enacting section 16 to put an end to a great social evil; Jinia Keotin v. Kumar Sitaram Manjhi , (2003) 1 SCC 730.



1. Subs. by Act 68 of 1976, sec. 11, for section 16 (w.e.f. 27-5-1976).


* Date of commencement 27-5-1976.



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