HINDU MARRIAGE ACT : A GO THROUGH

by Gauri Khera


INTRODUCTION

India, being a vast nation, permits every resident to be represented under their personal laws which has their own freedoms and rigidness. These laws are inter alia in the matter of marriage and separation.

As a major aspect of the Hindu law, the Hindu Marriage Act was established by Parliament in 1955 to correct and to arrange marriage law between Hindus. Just as controlling the foundation of marriage (counting legitimacy of marriage and conditions for deficiency), it additionally directs different parts of individual life among Hindus and the applicability of such lives in more extensive Indian culture.

The Hindu Marriage Act gives direction to Hindus to be in an orderly marriage bond. It offers significance to marriage, living together rights for both the wife and husband, and a well being for their family and kids so they don't experience the ill effects of their parental issues.


APPLICABILITY

The Act applies to an individual who is a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a devotee of the Brahmo, Prarthana or AryaSamam and furthermore perceives Hindu religion as determined in Article 44 of the Indian Constitution which incorporates Jains, Buddhists or Sikh despite of the fact that Anand-Karj Marriage Act gives Sikhs their very own law identified with marriage. The Act likewise applies to any individual who is a perpetual occupant in the India and who isn't Muslim, Jew, Christian, or Parsi by religion.


CONDITIONS FOR MARRIAGE

Section 5 of The Hindu Marriage Act determines the conditions that must be met for a marriage to be legitimate. If ceremonies take place according to the proper rituals, but the conditions are not met, the marriage is either void[1], or voidable[2].

A marriage might be pronounced void in the event that it contradicts any of the following:[4]

  1. Either party is under age, The bridegroom should be of 21 years of age and the bride of 18 years.

  2. Either party is not of a Hindu religion. Both the bridegroom and the bride should be of the Hindu religion at the time of marriage.

  3. Either party is already married. The Act expressively prohibits polygamy. A marriage can only be solemnized if neither party has a living spouse at the time of marriage.

  4. The parties are sapindas [3] or within the degree of prohibited relationship.


A marriage may later be voidable in the event that it contradicts any of the accompanying:

1. Either party is impotent, unable to consummate the marriage, or otherwise unfit for the procreation of children.

2. One party did not willingly consent. In order to consent, both parties must be sound of mind and capable of understanding the implications of marriage. If either party suffers from a mental disorder or recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy, then that may indicate that consent was not (or could not be) given. Likewise, if consent was forced or obtained fraudulently, then the marriage may be voidable.

3. The bride was pregnant by another man other then the bridegroom at the time of the marriage.


CEREMONIES

Section 7 of the Hindu Marriage Act perceives that there might be unique, however similarly substantial services and customs of marriage. All things considered, Hindu marriage might be solemnized as per the standard customs and functions of either the lady or the man of the hour. These customs and services incorporate the Saptapadi[4] and Kreva.[5]


Registering a marriage

A marriage cannot be registered unless the following conditions are fulfilled:

1. a ceremony of marriage has been performed; and

2. the parties have been living together as husband and wife

Additionally, the parties must have been residing within the district of the Marriage Officer for a period of not less than thirty days immediately preceding the date on which the application is made to him for registration.


Section 8 of the Hindu Marriage Act permits a state government to make rules for the enlistment of Hindu marriage specific to that state, especially with concern of recording the points of interest of marriage as might be recommended in the Hindu Marriage Register.

Enlistment gives composed proof of marriage. All things considered, the Hindu Marriage Register ought to be open for assessment at all sensible occasions i.e., permitting anybody to acquire confirmation of marriage and ought to be acceptable as proof in a courtroom.


DIVORCE

The primary reason for the act was to correct and systematize the law identifying with divorce in marriage among Hindus and others.

Despite the fact that marriage is held to be divine, the Hindu Marriage Act allows either party to separate on the grounds of misery, or on the off chance that the person can demonstrate that the marriage is not, at this point valid.

A request for separate as a rule must be recorded one year after registration.


GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE

A marriage may be dissolved by a court order on the following grounds:

1. Adultery - the respondent has had voluntary sexual intercourse with a man or a woman other than the spouse after the marriage.

2. Cruelty - the respondent has physically or mentally abused the petitioner.

3. Desertion - the respondent has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years.

4. Conversion to another religion - the respondent has ceased to be a Hindu and has taken another religion.

5. Unsound mind - the respondent has been diagnosed since the marriage ceremony as being unsound of mind to such an extent that normal married life is not possible.

6. Disease - the respondent been diagnosed with an incurable form of leprosy or has venereal disease in a communicable form.

7. Presumption of death - the respondent has not been seen alive for seven years or more.

8. No resumption of cohabitation after a decree of judicial separation for a period of at least one year.


In addition, a wife may also seek a divorce on the grounds that:

1. In case of marriages that took place before the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 was enacted, the husband was already married and that any other wife of the husband was alive at the time of the marriage ceremony.

2. The husband, after marriage, has been found guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality.

3. Co-habitation has not been resumed within a year after an order for maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code or alternatively, under the Hindu Adoptions & Maintenance Act 1956.

4. The wife was under-age when she married and she repudiates the marriage before attaining the age of 18 years.

ALIMONIES

During the decree of divorce or at any ensuing time, the court may conclude that one party should pay to the next a sum for maintenance. This could be an irregular installment, or a periodical installments. The sum to be paid is at the watchfulness of the court.[6]


REMARRIAGE

Remarriage is conceivable once a marriage has been broken up by a decree of separation and not, at this point ready to be appealed.


[1] Void- not valid or legally binding. [2] Voidable- is a transaction or action that is valid but may be annulled by one of the parties to the transaction. [3] Sapindas- Sapinda is a term used in context of cousin marriages in Hinduism. [4] Saptapadi -Taking of seven steps by the bridegroom and the bride jointly before the sacred fire, the marriage becomes complete and binding when the seventh step is taken [5] Kreva- customary marriages [6] https://www.taxmann.com/blogpost/2000000571/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-hindu-marriage-act-1955.aspx