Civil Code in Goa

The territories forming part of Goa, Daman and Diu were part of the kingdom of Portugal. They were annexed by the Government of India by conquest on 20.12.1961 and became a part of India by virtue of Article 1(3)(c) of the Constitution. The President of India, exercising powers vested in him under Article 123(1) of the Constitution on 05.03.1962 promulgated The Goa, Daman and Diu (Administration) Ordinance, 1962. This Ordinance was replaced by The Goa, Daman and Diu (Administration) Act, 1962. Goa became a full-fledged State in 1987.

The Portuguese Civil Code, 1867 became applicable to the domiciles of Goa only by virtue of The Goa, Daman and Diu (Administration) Ordinance, 1962 and thereafter, by The Goa, Daman and Diu (Administration) Act, 1962. Therefore, The Portuguese Civil Code, 1867 has been enforced in Goa, Daman and Diu by an Act of the Indian Parliament and thus, becomes an Indian law.

As far as the present case is concerned, first the President by an Ordinance and later Parliament by an Act of Parliament decided that certain laws, as applicable to the territories of Goa, Daman and Diu prior to its conquest, which may be referred to as the erstwhile Portuguese laws, would continue in the territories. It was, however, made clear that these laws would continue only until amended or repealed. Therefore, the Portuguese law which may have had foreign origin became a part of the Indian laws, and, in sum and substance, is an Indian law. It is no longer a foreign law. It is crystal clear that the The Portuguese Civil Code, 1867 is an Indian law and no principles of private international law are applicable to this case.”

Hon’ble Justice Deepak Gupta, Jose Paulo Coutinho v. Maria Luiza Valentina Pereira, [Civil Appeal No. 7378 of 2010].

Supreme Court referred to the translation of The Portuguese Civil Code, 1867 in Manohar Sinai Usgaocar, Civil Code in Goa, (Voicuntrao Dempo Centre for Indo-Portuguese Studies, 2017). Manohar Sinai Usgaonkar served as Additional Solicitor General from 1996 to 1998 [(1997) 2 SCC 727].

MSU.png
Hon’ble Justice S.A. Bobde at Book Launch Ceremony