Section 2 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 states that this act applies to any person who is a Hindu by birth or who has changed his/her religion to either any of its forms such as Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj. Any person who is a Buddhist, Jain, or Sikh also comes under this act. It also applies to any person living outside this territory except who is a Muslim, Christan, Parsi, or Jew by religion or it is proved that such person is being governed by Hindu law. It is believed that it is the strongest bond between husband and wife. It is an unbreakable bond that remains even after death. The importance of marriage is not to the extent of one generation but it is an in-depth belief of Hinduism. Without a wife, a person is considered incomplete while performing any rites of Hinduism. It is very important to perform all the rites with the wife.
Conditions for validity of a Hindu Marriage-
Under section 5, A valid marriage shall be solemnized between two Hindus if the following conditions are fulfilled:
- Any person doesn’t have a spouse living at the time of the marriage. According to the Hindu Marriage Act, It is not permissible to have two living wives at the same point in time, which amounts to bigamy. It is punishable under Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code.
- The groom shall attain the age of 21 and the bride attains the age of 18. It is necessary at the time of marriage the person shall attain the specified age given in this Act.
- The consent shall not be given by coercion or threat. In the modern world, a father can’t get the girl married to any without a girl’s consent. Marriage will be void.
- They don’t fall under the Sapinda relationship, or within the degree of prohibited relationship unless it is allowed by their custom or tradition.
- The person shall be not suffering from any insanity or mental disorder at the time of the marriage.
Essential elements of Section 5-
Condition of monogamy
Section 5 (i) of the Hindu marriage act 1955 states that at the time of the marriage a person should not have a living spouse. It is not permissible in Shastri law to have two married women at a point in time. It is also punishable under the Indian penal code 1955.
Bigamy amounts to having two living wives at the same time which is illegal in Hindu law; without finalizing the divorce from the first marriage, a person can’t marry someone else. The first one will be considered a legal marriage. The provision of section 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 will be applicable to the person performing the second marriage after already having a living husband and wife.
Conditions regarding mental health or capacity
Section 5 (ii) (a),(b),(c) Hindu marriage Act 1955 discusses the condition of valid of Hindu marriage related to mental health or capacity of the person; if a person is suffering from unsoundness of mind at the time of marriage, Marriage will be considered as void. It is necessary that a person shall be capable of giving valid consent at the time of the marriage.
Condition for marriageable age
Section 5 (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 states that the bridegroom has completed the age of twenty-one and the bride has completed the age of eighteen years at the time of the marriage. If the person has not attained given in section 5 (iii) the marriage will be void it has no legal status.
All prohibited relationships are Sapinda but all Sapinda relationships are not prohibited relationships. Sapinda relationship is the chain of all the relationship from the side of the brother and sister in the family; they can’t marry each other due to prohibited relationship and also their generation till three generations from the girl side and five-generation from the boy side, till that they all are in Sapinda relationship. Avoidance of Sapinda can be achieved as the girl reaches the fourth generation and boy (brother) reaches the sixth generation after that both families can have a marriage that will be neither prohibited relationship nor Sapinda relationship.
Some other essential provisions for a Hindu Marriage-
Solemnization of Marriage (Section 7)-
Section 7 of the Hindu marriage act 1955 states the solemnization of the Hindu marriage, a Hindu marriage may be performed by all the ceremonies and rituals of both the party or either anyone. It is concerned with the Saptapadi which means that taking seven rounds around the fire with their partner; after its completion marriage becomes complete and binding.
- Each party to the marriage declaring in any language shall be understood by each of the parties.
- Each party to the marriage shall put the ring upon any finger of the other.
- tying of the thali.
The marriage renders to be valid if it is performed between Hindu couples according to the customary ceremony and rituals of each party or any one of them. Any child born after performing the marriage according to this section will be legitimate. The beginning of the child before the dissolution of the marriage is not the cause to dissolve the marriage. It is one of the most important duties of the father to bring up the girl child, find a suitable boy for her and do Kanyadan for the girl. Girl leaves their gotra and enters into the gotra of the boy. It is an unbreakable bond that is tied for the generation to generation. It is a sacrament, not a contract.
Registration of Marriage (Section 8)-
Section 8 states that:
- The state government is facilitating the provision as a proof to Hindu so that the person comes into a valid marriage with the prescribed manner.
- All the rules made in this section shall be laid before the state legislature as soon as May.
- Hindu marriage registrar has all the powers and reasonable time open for the inspection and collects evidence and certified them after the payment of a prescribed fee.
Void Marriages (Section 11)-
Section 11 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1996 states that any marriage solemnized after the commencement of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, if it contravenes any of the provisions of this act, the marriage will be void. The marriage will have not any legal entity nor will it be enforceable.
Voidable Marriages (Section 12)-
Any marriage solemnized after or before the commencement of this will be voidable on the following grounds:
- No sexual intercourse has been done after the marriage due to the impotence of the Husband.
- Marriage is in contravention of Section 5 (ii) of this Act which states that the bride shall attain the age of 18 and the groom shall attain the age of 21.
- There shall be a consent of the bride.
- If the husband has pregnant another woman other than the wife.
- The wife has filed a request for annulling the marriage.
This article discusses the concept of Hindu marriage; to whom Hindu marriage act 1955 applies, how many forms of marriage are valid in Hindu marriage and different ceremonies performed before the marriage, validity of a marriage, who is sapinda, ritual, and customs of the marriage.