The governing of all marriages in India is done under the Hindu Marriage Act,
1955. Every aspect of marriage is covered under this act.
As in India, every citizen is governed under personal laws of his/her religious
views, hence the Hindu Marriage Act was enacted in 1955 to codify marriage law
between Hindus as a part of the Hindu Code Bill
Applicability of the Hindu Marriage Act
The Hindu Marriage Act is applicable to the following people:
- A Hindu as well as Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo,
Prarthana or Arya Samaj.
- A legitimate or illegitimate issue of Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs.
- A minor whose parents are Hindu, Buddist, Jaina or Sikh and is brought
up a valid member of the community, tribe, family to which his/her parents
- Any person other than a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew and is residing
in a place where this act is applicable.
- A person who is either a convert or a re-convert to Hindus, Buddhist,
Jaina or Sikh religion.
- An individual who is a Buddhist, Jain or Sikh.
Requirement for a Hindu MarriageA marriage between two Hindus is said to be solemnized if the following
conditions are fulfilled:
- Neither the bride nor the groom should have a living partner at the time
of the wedding.
- Neither the bride nor the groom should be of unsound mind at the time of
- Neither the bride nor the groom should be suffering from any mental
disease that makes either of them incapable of being married and procreating
- Neither the bride nor the groom should be sapindas or cousins unless
their customs permits them to do so.
- The bridegroom should at least be 21 and the bride should atleast be of
18 years of age.
- Neither the bride nor the groom should be suffering from attacks of
epilepsy or insanity
Overriding effect of this Act
According to the provisions of this Act, any text, rule or interpretation of
Hindu Law or any custom or usage as part of the law that was in force to
regulate any of the aspects dealth with in this act shall cease to be in force
from the time of commencement of this act. In addition to this, any law that has
been in enforcement prior to the commencement of ths act and whose provision run
contrary to this act shall cease to be in force from the time of commencement of
Ceremonies for a Hindu Marriage
The marriage should be solemnised according to the customary rituals of either
of the couple. One of the ceremonies must include saptapandi or the act where
the bridegroom take seven circle or ferahs around the sacred fire
Registration of Hindu Marriages
As evidence of the marriage ceremony, the state government has implemented the
rule of recording the particulars regarding the rules and conditions of the
marriage in the Hindu Marriage Register. This is compulsory as per sub-section
(1) of the act. Violation of this rule can lead to a fine of Rs. 25.
The Hindu Marriage Register is open for inspection at reasonable times and
serves as valid evidence. However, the validity of a marriage can not be
nullified on the omission to make an entry in the register.
Restitution of Conjugal Rights
If either of the parties has withdrawn from the society without a valid reason,
the other person can apply to the District Magistrate for the restitution of
conjugal rights. On verification of the court, the restitution rights may be
As per sub-section (1) of Section 13 of this Act, a marriage solemnized either
before or after the commencement of this act have to furnish a petition for
separation. There is no need for the couple to inhibit if the judicial petition
Marriages that were solemnized before or after the commencement will be voidable
and invalid in the following cases:
- When the marriage can not be consummated due yo impotence of either of
- When the marriage violates a condition laid down under clause (iii) of
- If the respondent is not pregnant with the child of the petitioner.
- In case of a child marriage, if the consent of the guardian of the
petitioner was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation of the relevant facts.
The legitimacy of Children of void marriages
- According to Section 11 of this Act, a child is legitimate if the
marriage has been valid, irrespective of the current validity of the
- Any child conceived prior to a decree that nullifies the marriage will
be considered legitimate
Punishment of Bigamy
As per sec 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code, the marriage is declared void
if either of the spouses have a living couple during the time of the marriage,
Punishment for Contravention of Certain other ConditionsContravention of conditions of the act will be meeted with the following
- If there is contravention of the provision in clause (ii) of section 5,
then the person is liable to be imprisoned for 15 days and shall be charged
a fine upto Rs 1000.
- Contravention specified in clause (iv) or clause (v) of Section 5 will
make the person liable for pone month's imprisonment and a fine upto Rs.
1000 or both.
The Hindu Marriage Act is a comprehensive act that has been governing the
regulation of hindu marriages in India since after independence. The provisions
of this act cover all essential aspects of a marriage and hence proves to be of
utmost importance to the citizen.
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