The term void
means null and which ceases to be enforceable by law and the
term marriage is considered one of the most important institutions of Hindus
and in their social life it is occupying important place.
Hindu marriage’s context is religious and is considered as a part of the life of
the soul. For a valid Hindu marriage certain essential conditions prescribed
under Section 5 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 has to be fulfilled by the parties
otherwise the contravention of the conditions can lead to void or voidable
Section 11 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 is dealing with the void marriages this
Section says, any marriage solemnised after the commencement of this Act shall
be null and void and may, on a petition presented by either party thereto
[against the other party], be so declared by a decree of nullity if it
contravenes any one of the conditions specified in clauses (i), (iv) and (v) of
A Hindu marriage will be considered as void ab initio i.e., void from the very
beginning on the three grounds as laid down under Section 11 of Hindu Marriage
Bigamy: The term bigamy means the act of entering into a marriage with one
person while still legally married to another . When the condition of
valid Hindu marriage as per Section 5(i) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 says
that at the time of the marriage parties to the marriage should not have a
spouse living. If this condition is violated then it will attract the
Section 11 and Section 17 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
Section 11 of the Act would make the marriage void while the Section 17 of the
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 would make the marriage void and further make the
offending party under Section 494 and under Section 495 of Indian Penal Code,
1860 liable for prosecution.
Smt. Yamunabai v. Anant Rao  in this particular case the Supreme Court
observed that second wife is not a wife because second marriage is void-ab-initio
and in void marriage wife cannot claim maintenance which is provided under
Section 125 of CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973).
Bhogadi Kannababu and Others v. Vaggina Pydamma  and others in this
case the Court held that second marriage is void ab initio and the property
cannot be inherited by the wife of second marriage and this ruling was also
followed in the case of Swaminathan v Palaniammal & Others.
Degrees of Prohibited Relationship:The term degrees of prohibited relationship is defined under Section 3(g) of the
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and for a valid Hindu marriage Section 5(iv) is
prohibiting marriage between persons who are within the degrees of prohibited
relationship with each other and violation of this condition will attract
Section 11 and Section 18(b) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
Section 11 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 makes the marriage void within the degree
of prohibited relationship and the contravention of Section 5(iv) of the Act
makes it punishable under Section 18(b) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 with
simple imprisonment which may extent to one month or with fine which may extend
to 1000 rupees or both.
But Section 5(iv) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 also says that if the custom
or usage governing each of the parties to the marriage is allowing the marriage
within the degrees of prohibited relationship then marriage will be considered
as valid marriage.
Case: Smt. Sakuntala Devi v. Amar Nath  in this case it was observed by the
Court that if there is custom existing which is allowing marriage between the
parties within the degree of prohibited relationship then the custom must
fulfill the requirements of a valid custom and the existing custom must be
reasonable it should not be against the public policy.
Sapinda relationship: Section 5(v) of the Hindu Marriage Act,
1955 lays down essential condition that for a valid Hindu Marriage the parties
are not sapindas of each other if the parties are sapindas of each other then it
will attract Section 11 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 which makes the marriage
void and the contravention of condition laid down under Section 5(v) will
attract Section 18(b) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 which makes the parties
punishable with simple imprisonment which may extent to one month or with fine
which may extend to 1000 rupees or both.
But Section 5(v) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 also says that if the custom or
usage governing each of the parties to the marriage is allowing the marriage
between the sapinda relationship then that marriage will be valid and binding.
Void marriage is void since its inception and when the marriage is regarded as
void it is considered that it has never having taken place and if the conditions
specified in clauses (i), (iv) and (v) of Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act,
1955 is contravened then it attracts Section 11 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
which makes the marriage void from its inception and the rights and obligations
which arise from lawful marriage such no rights and obligation is created in
- The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (25 of 1955, Universal Bare Act with Short
- AIR 1988 SC 644.
- AIR 2006 SC 2403.
- AIR 2009 NOC 221 Mad.
- AIR 1982 P & H 22.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Pooja
Authentication No: JA100553052148-5-0121