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Report No. 59

Chapter 3

Conditions of Marriage under The Hindu Marriage Act

3.1. Introduction.-

In this Chapter, we shall deal with points relating to conditions of marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act, except points which we have already dealt with while1 discussing the proposals of the Ministry of Law.

1. See Chapter 2, supra.

3.1A. There are certain conditions of a marriage, mentioned in the Hindu Marriage Act1. The effect of breach of these conditions is not precisely the same in every case. Breach of some of the conditions merely renders the marriage void2. Breach of some of the conditions merely renders the marriage voidable3. Breach of some of the conditions-e.g. the condition as to minimum age-does not affect the validity of the marriage, though it may attract criminal penalties4.

1. Section 5, H.M.A.

2. Section 11, H.M.A.

3. Section 12, H.M.A.

4. Section 18, H.M.A.

3.2. Apart from the conditions of marriage specifically mentioned in the Act, it is elementary that a marriage must be based on free consent.1 Hence, if the consent is obtained by force or fraud, the marriage is voidable.2 Again, having regard to the sexual and reproductive aspects of marriage, impotence of a party renders the marriage voidable.3 Finally, the fact that the wife was at the time of marriage pregnant by some person other than the husband, unknown to the husband, renders the marriage voidable.4

1. See para. 3.8, infra.

2. Section 12(1)(c), H.M.A.

3. Section 12(1)(a), H.M.A.

4. Section 12(1)(d), H.M.A.

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Special Marriage Act, 1954 Back

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