Written by:Adv. Pooja Gupta

Hindu Marriage Act 1955 Nature Meaning and Kind of Marriage

Introduction Hindu Marriage Act 1955 Nature Meaning and Kind of Marriage: As per Hindu law, its completely reformed legal marriage. It is deemed as a turning point in welfare state origins. This legislation has not only enshrined Hindu marriage law. It also has ushered in a slew of substantial improvements across the board.

The formation of a marriage relationship between a husband and wife is described as a marital relationship. Marriage is an important connection and the last of ten sacred weddings, as per Indian law, and can never be completely eroded. It’s also a genuine bond that develops from birth to birth. Even death, according to Smritikars, can’t break these bonds.

In addition to being sacred, it is also deemed as a sacred union. The prime objective of a marital relationship is for a married couple to be able to complete their religious responsibilities and obligations. In furthermore, they ought to have progeny. As per ancient texts, a wife is considered half of her partner and hence completes him. A husband is also regarded as incomplete without a wife.

Every Deity, man or woman, is expected to marry. Furthermore, a person also couldn’t continue to stay a persistent teenager and have no desire to live an ascetic life. However, he was enticed to marry by the shastra. As a result, marriage is regarded as almost obligatory, specifically in the context of a woman.

Is the marriage a contract or a sacrament?

One of the essential Shastras, marriage, is sanctifying grace in nature. Marriage’s sacramental essence has three factors:

  • It is a sacred union, which necessitates the performance of religious rituals.
  • It is a perpetual unification, which means that once tied, it cannot be nullified.
  • It is an everlasting union, meaning that it is legitimate not only in this life but also in future lives.

Because Hindu marriage was regarded as a religious rite, the parties’ consent did not play a significant role. Thus, even if the person legally married is a minor or of unsoundness of mind, the marriage is legally valid if it is duly solemnised. A contract made by a minor or an individual of unsoundness of mind is invalid & void under the Contracts Act 1950.

Moreover, while Sec. 12 of the Hindu Marriage Act states that a marriage is voidable if consent has been obtained by fraudulent or force, it’s doesn’t state that a marriage is voidable if one’s consent is not obtained. This clearly shows that even if one party can prove the other’s lack of capable of consenting consciousness, the marriage will still be valid.

Marriage in today’s world is viewed as a contract. It accepts the libertarian and equitable ideals. Presently, it is a widely held belief in the western that nuptials (marriage) must be a voluntary consent between both parties in order to be effective.

Could we say that Hindu marriage remains a religious ceremony or sacrament in light of modern marriage concepts? The first two factors of religious marriage have been rescinded by acknowledging divorce as well as remarriage. The third aspect, even so, is still prevalent.

To summarise, the Marriage ceremony has remained neither a sacrament nor a contract, But both have similarities in this.

Legislative applicability (Section 2)

The Act is applicable to three categories of people:

  • who practise Hinduism in any of its aspects or improvements.
  • who are jains, buddhists, sikhs or jains by faith or religion &
  • who are not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi, or Jew by religious practice and reside in the territory covered by this Act.

Those, on the other hand, are exempt from the provisions of this Act.

  • Who have relinquished Hinduism and  conversion to another religion.
  • Persons descended from Hindu ancestors who, due to marriage or a new occupation, became members of a new community with their own religious practice and customs.
  • Children whose parents, despite being Hindus, are not raised as Hindus.

Who are Hindus?

By religion, he is a Hindu.

Hindu religion was in its Ancient historical era between 500 & 1500 AD. Hindu religion is the world’s ancient form of religion, with a diverse range of heritage and customs practised by Hindus all over the world. A Hindu by religious practise is someone who follows Veerashaiva, Lingayat or Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaja, or who was brought up into a Hindu family with a Hindu father or mother, or who is a Buddhist, Sikh, or Jain. Hindus are those who are not catholic, Parsi, jews or Muslims 

Hindu by ancestry(birth)

Any individual who is born into a Hindu family or has Hindu parents is taken into account Hindu by birth. A Hindu is anyone born outside of the Islamic religion, Christian, or Jewish communities. Any child, legitimate or illegitimate, if one or both of his parents is Hindu and he is raised by the Hindu parent, shall be regarded as Hindu by birth.

Conditions for the valid (Legality) of a Hindu Marriage

Sec. 5,  If the following conditions are met, a valid marriage between two Hindus may be performed:

Any person who does not have a wife or husband at the time of marriage. As per the Hindu Marriage Act, having two living spouses at the same time is considered bigamy. It is liable to Be punished u/s 494 of  IPC.

The boy must be 21 years of age and the girl must be 18 years old before they tie the knot. It is required that a person be of the age stipulated in this Act at the time of marriage.

No force or threat shall be used to obtain consent. In today’s world, a father can’t force his daughter to marry anyone without her permission. There’ll be no marriage.

Unless it is permitted by their tradition or customs, they do not fall under the Sapinda relationship or the degree of prohibited relationship.

At the time of the marriage, the person should not be insane or suffer from a mental illness.

Marriage Solemnization (Section 7)

The solemnization of a Marriage ceremony may be performed by all of the parties’ or anyone’s ceremonies and rituals, as per Section 7 of the H.M.A, 1955. It is particularly concerned with the Saptapadi, which entails taking seven rounds around the fire with one’s partner; once this is completed, the marriage is truly complete as well as legally enforceable.

Each of the parties to the marriage ceremony must be able to understand each other’s declarations in any language.

The marriage is considered valid if it is actually performed between Hindu married people in accordance with the customary ritual and ceremonies of each party or any of them. Any infant born as a result of the marital relationship performed in accordance with the clause is legal. The child’s birth prior to the marriage’s dissolution is not a reason to break down the marital relationship. One of its most key obligations of the child’s father is to raise the girl child, find a suitable boy for her, and perform Kanyadan for her. The girl departs from their gotra & enters the boy’s gotra. It is a generational relationship that is unbreakable. It’s more of a sacrament than a legal contract.

Marriage Registration (Section 8)

Acc. to Sec 8, The state is implementing the constitutional provision as evidence to Hindus so that they can enter into a legal marriage in the form prescribed.

All rules enacted under this section must be presented to the state legislature.

The Marriage act registrar has all the prerogatives as well as a reasonable time for a full inspection and gathers & certifies evidence after payment of a processing fee.

In the well-known case of Seema v. Ashwini Kumar, the apex court ruled that registration must be made mandatory by the state legislature for all citizens, regardless of caste, religious practice, or gender, in order to examine or regulate bigamy, child marriage, and forceful marriage, and to save the court’s time in deciding whether the wedding is properly solemnised or not.

Registration of marriage’s purpose

It is used to establish legal evidence of a couple’s marriage. Married couples must register their marriage and obtain a marriage certificate in order to access a variety of services and facilities throughout the country.

Marriages that are void (Section 11)

Any marriage solemnized after the commencement of H.M.A 1955 that violates any of the provisions of law is null & void, as per Sec 11 of H.M.A, 1996. There will be no legal entity to the marriage, and that will not be legally binding.

Marriages that are voidable (Sec 12)

Any marriage performed after or before the start of this period is voidable for the aforementioned purposes:

  • The bride’s consent must be obtained.
  • The wife has requested that the marriage be declared void.
  • If the husband has a baby who is not his wife’s biological child.
  • Due to the Husband’s impotence, no sexual intercourse has taken place after the marriage.
  • Marriage is prohibited by Sec 5 (ii) of this Act, that asserts that the wife must be 18 years of age and the groom should be 21 years of age.

Conclusion of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 Nature, Meaning and Kind

This article addresses the core idea of Hindu marriage, including who is covered by the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, how many types of marriage are valid in Hindu marriage, and the various rites usually performed before the wedding, the significance of a marriage, who is Sapinda, rituals, as well as traditions & custom of the marriage ceremony.

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