Marriage, the most important and sacred ceremony of our Indian Culture. It is the mile stone for all families here. How can such important ceremony is guided and regulated here….!! Simple, it’s through an Act which was enacted by the statute of Parliament in 1955 called Hindu Marriage Act 1955. It lays down the conditions need to meet for the marriage, registering of marriage, if needed then requirements of divorce, etc….. But no provision in this Act is in contravention to any other Act related to Marriage like Special marriage Act, etc….
Applications of the Act:
This act applies to all persons who are Hindu by religion and the people of Buddhism, Jainism or Sikhism etc… and the people living in the this territories, who are not Christian, Muslim, etc..
It is also applicable to the legitimate or iligimitate children of the people who follows the above mentioned religions.
Some complicated relations are defined in this Act under the section 3:
Full blood Brothers/Sisters : In this relation, people are from the same ancestors and also from same husband and same wife.
Half-Blood relations : In this relation, people are from same ancestors but are from same father and different mother’s.
Illustration: A is the child born to B and C out of their wedlock. Later B, the mother of A died to some illness and C was married to another woman D and after the year, a child named E was born. Now, A and E are Half-Blood brothers.
Uterine Blood: In this relation, people are from same ancestors but different fathers and same mother.
Illustration: A is the child born to B and C out of their wedlock. Later B, the father of A died to some illness and C was married to another man D and after the year, a child named E was born. Now, A and E are Uterine brothers.
Conditions for Marriage:According to Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, there are some conditions need to be fulfilled:.
- Neither the party shall have a living spouse at the time of marriage
- Female party shall have atleast 18 years of age as male party 21 years of age
- The parties should not be in sapinda relationship
- The mental state of the parties need to be stable to understand what’s going on.
- Neither of the party shall be in a state of insanity.
- They can’t have a same ancestor or from same blood unless their custom permits the so.
Section 6 of the Act was omitted as it dealt with the guardianship of marriage. This section was omitted followed by the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1978.
According to section 8 of the Hindu Marriage Act, the act guides for the registration of marriage in state government offices.
Section 9 :
One of the most important provision of this Act was restitution of conjugal rights. Conjugal rights are rights of married couples against each other. Under, this section when one party leaves the society of the other, the latter has the right to send the legal notice to the form asking him/ her to return.
Judicial Separation and divorce:
Section 10 of the act deals with the Judicial Separation. It is slightly different from divorce. Under this section, the couple can live separately without divorce and it can be applied any time after the marriage, but there should be a valid ground for Judicial Separation. Some valid grounds are Adultery, Cruelty and Desertion, etc….
Section 13 deals with valid grounds and process for divorce. Some valid grounds are as follows:
- Conversion of one party to other faith.
- If any party is in illicit relation with someone
- If any party suffers from a veneral disease or any contagious disease
- If party has any child born out of their wedlock.
- When the both parties are having difference and are in a opinion that breaking relation is better for the sake of both, then they can claim the divorce by mutual consent.
According to section 14, the parties can file divorce only after the one year of marriage.
Alimony & Maintenance and Custody of Children:
The petitioner need to give the respondent the amount at a time or monthly for the maintenance of herself. But in case, the latter is in illicit relation with any one or remarried to anyone, the former no need to pay for the maintenance or alimony.
Alimony is the one time lumpsom amount but maintenance is paid on monthly basis.
Section 26 of the act deals with the custody of children after the divorce. According to this, the court changes the custody of children from time to time. If the child is infant, then the custody goes to the mother but when the child grows up, their wish and financial position of the parents and etc.. are taken into consideration.
Every petitions under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 shall be presented to the District Court.