There are several inconsistencies in Indian law, regarding the definition of a child and the actual scope of child rights. As per criminal law in India, a child is a minor who is below the age of 18 years. The Age of Majority Act 1875 stipulates that an Indian citizen shall attain adulthood, only on attaining the age of 18 years, unless otherwise suggested by any personal law. This Act intends to bring uniformity in the applicability of various Indian laws to people of different religions.
In India, there are no clear laws pertaining to children who are born to couples through artificial insemination but these children are considered legitimate, provided the birth is supported by lawful wedlock.
Typically, the following aspects need to be satisfied before the court issues a decree of nullity to the couple:
- Impotence must exist at the time of marriage.
- The condition must be permanent and incurable.
- The impotent spouse is not legally permitted to plead impotency as a ground for holding the marriage null and void. Only the non-impotent spouse can raise this as a valid ground in court.
Under section 26 of the Special Marriage Act 1954 and section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, children of annulled voidable and void marriages cannot inherit the property of any relatives except the parents.