Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Marriage in India under Hindu Law

According to general definition, Marriage is a state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or a wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognised by law. When it comes to Hindu Law, marriage is termed as a sacred relationship. However, in Muslim law, marriage is a contractual relationship.
Requirements of marriage
According to Hindu Marriage Act, a marriage can take place between the two consenting individuals of opposite sex, who are of sound mind and the bride is more than eighteen years of age and the groom is more that twenty one years of age. One must also know that even if the marriage takes place between a girl and a boy who have not attained the requisite age, the marriage remains valid. However it may lead to some penal provisions under the Hindu Marriage Act

Prohibited marriages
A marriage can not take place between the prohibited category of marriages that is Sapinda relationships. For a layman Sapinda relationship means blood relationship. The spouses should not be connected to each other through blood relationship. According to definitions given in Hindu Marriage Act, two persons are said to be "sapindas" of each other if one is a lineal ascendant of the other within the limits of sapinda relationship, or if they have a common lineal ascendant who is within the limits of sapinda relationship with reference to each of them;

A marriage can also not take place between the person who fall in the prohibited degree of relationships. According to definitions provided under the Hindu Marriage Act, two persons are said to be within the "degrees of prohibited relationship"-
(i) if one is a lineal ascendant of the other; or
(ii) if one was the wife or husband of a lineal ascendant or descendant of the other ; or
(iii) if one was the wife of the brother or of the father's or mother's brother or of the grandfather's or grandmother's brother of the other; or
(iv) if the two are brother and sister, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, or children of brother and sister or of two brothers or of two sisters;

When will I be called to be married
Generally, a couple shall be said to be married if they have completed the Saptpadi . Saptpadi refers to completing the seven steps around the holy fire. Merely exchanging garlands shall not amount to marriage. In cases, where the customs provide for different ceremonies, the couple shall be said to be married if they perform those ceremonies.
What to do if a spouse leaves other
If a spouse leaves other without just or reasonable cause, the other spouse can move to the court for restitution of conjugal rights. This is provided under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act. You must also know that once a decree under section 9 is passed, it is obligatory for the spouse to come back to other and if the souse fails to do so even after one year of the decree, it becomes a ground for divorce for other spouse.
What to do if the other spouse gets married again without divorcing the first
if a spouse gets married again then two thing will follow. One the second marriage shall be totally illegal in the eyes of law. Two. the spouse getting married again shall be punished under section 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code. Accordingly a spouse can be punished up to seven years sentence and if the spouse has concealed his/her marriage from the other spouse, the punishment can be up to ten years imprisonment.
Spouse having adulterous relationships
When it comes to adultery, one has to understand that it is only the husband of a lady who is having an adulterous relationship can only complain. It is an anomaly in Indian law that a wife can not file a complaint of adultery against her husband. However she has a different remedy and she can charge her husband for cruelty under section 498a of Indian Penal Code.


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