Hindu Marriage Act
Conditions of a Hindu Marriage
A marriage to be valid has to fulfill the following conditions:
- Neither party should have a spouse living at the time of marriage. The spouse does not include a divorced husband/ wife.
- At the time of marriage, the parties should be capable of giving a valid consent to the marriage. A person who is of a sound mind shall be considered to be a person capable to give a valid consent. Neither party, though capable of giving a valid consent should be suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and procreation of children. Neither party should be suffering from recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy.
- The bridegroom should have attained the age of 21 years and the bride should have attained the age of 18 years at the time of marriage.
- The parties should not be within the degrees of prohibited relationships, unless the customs or usage, permits such a marriage.
Two persons are said to be within the degrees of prohibited relationships:
- if one is a lineal ascendant of the other. For example a Daughter can not marry her father and grandfather. Similarly, a mother can not marry her son or grandson.
- If one was the wife or husband of a lineal ascendant or descendant of the other. For example, a son can not marry his stepmother. Similarly, a person can not marry his Daughter-in -Law or son -in-law.
- f one was the wife of the brother or of the father's or mother's brother or the grandfather's or grandmother's brother of the other.
- If the two are brother and sister; uncle and niece; Aunt and Nephew or children of brother and sister of two brothers or two sisters. It must have been noticed in some communities the marriage with the wife of the brother and mother's brother and the first cousins are solemnized, those marriages, in the absence of a custom in the community are not valid marriages.
- The parties are not apindas of each other, unless the customs or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two. A apindas relationship with reference to any person extends as far as the third generation (inclusive) in the line of ascent through the mother, and the fifth (inclusive) in the line of ascent through the father.
In plain words, a person can not marry up to his second cousin from the mother's side and up to his fourth cousin from the side of the father. It is also necessary the parties should not be apindas of each other from either side.
In case, either party has a spouse living at the time of marriage, within the degree of prohibited relationship and are apindas of each other, the marriage between the parties shall be null and void