The Hindu Marriage Act is an Act of the Parliament of India that was approved on May 18, 1955. During this period, three more significant acts were passed as part of the Hindu Code Bills: The Hindu Succession Act (1956), the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act (1956), and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956).
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
(a) provides that every marriage solemnized under the law shall be registered and shall be valid only if it has been registered
(b) prescribes the form of the register in which a Hindu Marriage is to be registered.
The registration of a marriage has a number of advantages both for the couples and for society. It is, therefore, important that all marriages are duly registered.
In order to give effect to this provision, it is necessary to examine what "registration" precisely means and whether it entails any observance beyond filling up forms and submission of fees. The scope and ambit of "registration" as envisaged by the Act will also have to be examined. For this purpose, we need also to take into account certain decisions given by various courts on different aspects of registration under this law.
The main goal of the legislation was to change and codify the regulations governing marriage between Hindus and non-Hindus. Apart from altering and codifying Sastrik Law, it also included separation and divorce, both recognised in Sastrik Law. This law ensured legal uniformity for all Hindus. In India, there are religion-specific civil norms that govern believers of various religions separately.
According to Section 2 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, "this Act applies to any person who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms or developments, including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat, or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana, or Arya Samaj; to any person who is a Buddhist, Jain, or Sikh by religion; and to any other person domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who is not a Muslim or does not come under the category of a Hindu."
Therefore, unless it is proven that such persons are not covered by the Act under any custom or usage, this section applies to all such persons domiciled in the country who are not Muslims, Christians, Parsis, or Jews. It also applies to Hindus within its extended meaning, which includes Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. The Act only applies to Hindus who are residents of Indian territory and who are not otherwise.
The Act was considered conservative since it included other religions (Jains, Buddhists, or Sikhs) as defined under Article 44 of the Indian Constitution while applying to everyone who is Hindu by religion in any of its manifestations. However, Sikhs now have their own unique legislation regarding marriage according to the Anand Marriage (Amendment) Bill, which was passed in 2012.
According to Section 8 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, a marriage is instantly recorded by the Registrar of Marriage on the same working day. All papers are verified on the application date, and the marriage is then registered by the registrar of marriage designated by the government of India on the next working day, and a marriage certificate is provided.
The Hindu Law's Concept of Marriage
The Hindu marriage rituals have been modified over a long period of time by the necessities and convenience of the populace. It concerns the bond between a husband and wife. Of the 16 sacraments in Hinduism, this one is regarded as one of the most significant. It is an unbreakable holy bond. It is a link that endures through death and rebirth; it is a relationship that exists from birth to birth. According to Veda, a guy isn't complete unless he marries and spends time with his spouse.
Marriage has a Sacramental Nature
The Features of a Hindu Marriage's Sacramental Nature
The sacramental aspect of marriage has the following three features:
They will continue to be together after death because of their enduring link, which remains strong and bonded even after death.
It cannot be undone once knotted.
The bride and groom's marriage is a sacred and religious one, hence religious rituals and ceremonies must be performed.
One of the most revered sacraments in Hinduism is marriage. In the past, there was no need for the girls' permission. Fathers must make that decision without consulting her or getting her approval. Finding a suitable boy is solely the father's responsibility. It was not regarded as a void marriage if the person was underage or of unsound mind at the time of the marriage.
However, in the modern world, consent and mental stability are very important components of Hindu marriage; without any of these elements, the marriage will be null and void or have no legal standing.
According to Section 12 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, the marriage is deemed null and invalid if one's permission is not acquired. It demonstrates that the marriage is legitimate and lawful despite the bride's lack of consent.
Modern marriage is transactional in nature. As a result, it embraces the concepts of liberty and equality. Because of Western ideas, it has been accepted. Both parties must freely enter into it for there to be an agreement.
Therefore, a Hindu marriage is neither a transaction nor a sacrament. However, it may be claimed that it has elements of both.
Conditions for a Hindu Marriage's Validity
Article 5: If all of the following requirements are met, two Hindus may get married legally:
Any individual who marries does not have a spouse who is still alive. Having two live wives at the same time is prohibited by the Hindu Marriage Act because it constitutes bigamy. According to Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code, it is illegal.
The bride must be at least 18 years old and the groom at least 21. The individual must reach the required age as outlined in this Act at the time of marriage.
Permission cannot be obtained by threats or force. In the current world, a parent cannot marry off their daughter without her permission. The union is null and invalid.
Unless it is permitted by their custom or tradition, they do not come under the Sapinda connection or within the scope of a forbidden relationship.
At the time of the marriage, the person must not have any mental illness or insanity.
Conditions Affecting One's Ability or Mental Health
According to Section 5 (ii) (a), (b), and (c) of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, a person must be of sound mind at the time of marriage for a marriage to be recognised as legitimate. If a person is mentally ill at the time of marriage, however, the marriage would be deemed invalid. At the moment of the marriage, the individual must be able to provide legal consent.
The Age Requirement for Marriage
According to Section 5 (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, the bridegroom must be at least twenty-one years old and the bride must be at least eighteen years old when they get married. The marriage is null and void if the individual has not met the requirements in section 5(iii).
Although all Sapinda connections are not forbidden relationships, all Sapinda relationships are. The term "sapinda relationship" refers to the chain of all relationships between brothers and sisters in the family; they are not allowed to get married to each other because of these relationships, and they have been in them for three generations on the girl side and five generations on the boy side up until that point. When the girl reaches the fourth generation and the guy (brother) reaches the sixth generation, both families can be married without it being a forbidden connection or a Sapinda relationship.
According to Section 8 of the Act, the state government has the authority to create laws governing the registration of Hindu weddings, enabling the parties to any such union to have information about their unions registered in the Hindu Marriage Register in the way and under the circumstances that may be prescribed. Hindu weddings will be simpler to prove thanks to this registration. Any regulations made in accordance with this clause may be submitted to the state legislature. The allegations made in the Hindu Marriage Register shall be considered as evidence, and the Hindu Marriage Register shall be open for inspection at all reasonable times.
Marriage and Divorce are Voidable.
Any marriage is null and voidable and subject to annulment for the following reasons: inability to consummate the union due to impotence, which may be full or partial; breach of the valid consent mental illness condition mentioned in Section 5; or respondent's pregnancy by someone other than the petitioner at the time of the union. Under certain conditions, such as a continuous period of desertion lasting two years or more, conversion to a religion other than Hinduism, mental abnormality, venereal disease, and leprosy, a husband or wife may sue for divorce. The wife may also submit a petition for the dissolution of the marriage if the husband gets remarried after beginning their first union or if he has engaged in rape, sodomy, or bestiality. Newlywed partners are not permitted to file for divorce within the first year of their union.
The Concept of Marriage in Hindu Law Over a lengthy period of time, Hindu marriage ceremonies have been altered to meet the needs and conveniences of the public.
The three following characteristics describe the sacramental nature of marriage: Because of their enduring connection, which remains strong and united even after death, they will continue to be together after they pass away.
According to Shastri's legislation, there are three types of marriage that are recognised as legal and valid: Brahma Wedding In an arranged marriage, which is most common in India, the bride is typically presented as a gift to the husband by the groom's father. Important components of the Section 5 Monogamy condition According to Section 5 I of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, a person should not be married to a live spouse at the time of the union.
Voidable unions (Section 12) Any marriage that is solemnised after or before the start of this will be voidable for the following reasons: The husband's impotence prevented any sexual activity after the marriage.