marriage Act came into force on 18 May 1955. It governs
Hindu marriages and has brought about important changes
to the law on this subject prevailing earlier. This
act applies to any person who is Hindu by religion in
any of its forms, and also to Buddhists, Jains, and
Sikhs. Conditions for a Valid Hindu Marriage. Bigamy
is not permitted as per the law. Neither party should
have a spouse living and polygamy permitted by ancient
Hindu law is now prohibited. Bigamy is now a punishable
offence under the Indian Penal code.
Person: If a person wants to marry while the
spouse is living, a divorce should be obtained. Divorce
is granted by court on valid grounds. Prohibited relationships.
The bride and the bride-groom should not be within degrees
of prohibited relationship; otherwise the marriage would
prohibited relationships are:
- A lineal ascendant, e.g.,
father and daughter; son and mother.
- Wife or husband of a
lineal ascendant or descendant e.g., Father-in-law
and widowed daughter-in-law; widowed mother-in-law
- Widow of the brother
or of father's brother or of mother's brother, or
of grandfather's brother or of grandmother's brother.
- Brother and sister; uncle
and niece, aunt and nephew, or children of brother
and sister or of two brothers or of two sisters.
saved: Under customary law certain marriages
are valid though the above mentioned rule is contravened.
In South India marriages between children of brother
and sister and between a male and his sister's daughter
are common and are valid by custom.
should not be sapindas of each other: Sapinda
means "of the same body." Etymologically every one is
a sapinda of everyone else since all human beings are
descended from the supreme Being. Sapinda relationship
extends as far as the 3rd generation in the line of
ascent through the mother and fifth in the line of ascent
through the father. Two persons are sapindas of each
other if one is a lineal ascendant of the other within
the limits of sapinda relationship or if they have a
common lineal ascendant who is within the limits of
sapinda relationship with reference to each of them.
Age: The amendment to this effect was issued
in 1978, and as per this the bridegroom should have
completed the age of 21 years and the bride the age
of 18 years at the time of the marriage. The question
of guardianship in marriage does not arise since the
parties to be married are to be majors. If the condition
as to minimum age is infringed, the validity of the
marriage is not affected. But the parties (bride or
bridegroom as the case may be) shall be punishable 15
days simple imprisonment or fine up to Rs 1,000/- or
both. Effect of Idiocy or Lunacy: If either party is
a lunatic or an idiot, the marriage is voidable. It
can be annulled by a decree of nullity and this is also
a ground for divorce.
of Impotence: A decree of nullity may be granted
on the ground that the marriage has not been consummated
owing to the impotence of the respondent.
ceremonies under the Act: The Hindu marriage
Act does not prescribe any particular ceremonial for
marriage. It provides that a Hindu marriage may be solemnized
in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies
of either party thereto and where such rites include
the Saptapadi, the marriage becomes complete when the
seventh step is taken.
of marriages: For the purpose of facilitating
proof of Hindu marriage provision for registration may
be made by the State Government, under the Hind Marriage
act of 1955. The particulars relating to the marriage
may be entered in a Marriage Register maintained under
the rules made by the State Government. It is open to
the State Government to make the registration of marriage
compulsory but this has not been done so far.