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Hindu Marriage Act 1955

Quick Reference of Hindu Marriage Act 

Section 2 - Who all are Hindus

Section 3 - Sapinda

Section 5 - Essentials of Hindu Marriage. 1,4,5-> Void

Section 7 - Saptapadi Ritual

Section 9 - Restitution of Conjugal Rights

Section 10 - Judicial Separation

Section 11 -  Void Marriage

Section 12 - Voidable Marriage

Section 13(1) - Grounds for Divorce

Section 13(1A) - Alternative procedure for divorce matters

Section 13(2) - Extra Grounds for Wife

Section 13(1B) - Divorce by Mutual Consent

Section 14 - 1 year must have lapsed after marriage

Section 15 - Divorced people can marry others

Section 16 - Legitimate Children

Section 17 - Punishment for bigamy

Section 18 - Punishment for contravention

Section 24 - Maintenance

Section 25 - Alimony

Hindu Marriage Act is a Personal Law and it is codified.




Hindu Marriage Act and Related Laws

1. Hindu Marriage Act (for Marriage and Divorce)

2. Hindu Succession Act

3. Special Marriage Act

4. Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act

5. Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act


1. Hindu Marriage Act

It is effective from:

- Birth as Hindu

- Re-conversion

- Conversion

- One of the Parents at least is a Hindu

Section 2: Who all are Hindus


- Buddhists

- Sikh

- Jain

- Lingayat

- Virashaiva

- Brahmo

- Prarthana

- Arya Samaj


Non Hindu

- Muslim

- Christian

- Parsi

- Jew

Marriage in Hindu Law is Sacramental + Saptapadi (1 of 16) 7 Steps


1. Essentials of Hindu Marriage

1. No spouse during marriage i.e. Monogamy

2. Minimum age 18 & 21

3. Sanity, Sound mind

4. Prohibited relationships (near relatives), Sapinda (blood relation) - Indirectly came from same family


2. Ceremonies

Section 7 -> Customary rights -> saptapadi


3. Registration

Section 8 Marriages are required to be registered

Seema Vs Ashwani Kumar


5. Remedies for Hindu Marriage

Restitution of Conjugal Rights Section 9 Judicial Separation Section 10 Divorce (Final) Section 13
Every person in a marriage has conjugal right and other has responsibility Person get decree from court to live apart Same grounds as that of Judicial Separation
Either Party dissatisfied can filed suit for Restitution of Conjugal Rights No Conjugal Right Difference is that Judicial Separation is not permanent
Proof is necessary Live Separately All Termination
Court will pass a decree Not divorced Section 14 at least after 1 year
Termination of Marriage - No They can live together back  
Mediation Persons can apply any time  
If remedy in RCR fails, the person can go for divorce    



Grounds for Divorce

Section 13(1)

1. Adultery - Adultery is not a crime but is a ground for divorce

2. Cruelty - Verbal, Physical, Emotional, Mental, Not talking

3. Desertion - Left after leaving the person alone

4. Conversion - If one person go back to another religion or change religion

5. Insanity - Become mad

6. Venereal Disease - e.g. aids etc

7. Renounce - give up or turn away from

8. Unheard for 7 years - Missing since at least 7 years


Extra Grounds for wife for marriage

1. Bigamy

2. Rape, Partiality, Sodomy

3. Maintenance Order

4. Less than 18 years




Section 15 - Divorced people are free to marry (includes re-marriage)

Important Case Laws

Yamunabhai Vs Anant Rao

If man is already married, second marriage is null and void

Sarla Mudgal Vs Union of India

Man Converted to marry more women, which was declared void by the Court

Lily Thomas Vs Union of India

1st Marriage by Personal Law -> 2nd marriage through personal law


Restitution of Conjugal Life - Section 9

Saroj Rani Vs Sudarshan Kumar

Conjugal right is inherit in concept of marriage. If conjugal right is misused, other person can file an application to restore it.


Alternative Proceedings for Divorce Matters

1st Alternative - Judicial Separation

If No cohabitation happens Section 13A

2nd Alternative - Divorce

The Court may give direct divorce in cases where one partner has

(i) Renounced

(ii) Converted

(iii) Unheard since 7 years


Divorce by Joint Mutual Consent

If husband and wife are separate for a year through mutual consent / agreement, then both the parties can present a Joint Petition. Section 13B.

The Court gives cooling period of 6 to 18 months

After cooling period divorce is given with their free consent.

In Amardeep Singh Vs Harveen Kaur, 2017 the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that Cooling period of 6 months is not mandatory and discretionary.


Nullity of Marriage

A Void or voidable marriage cannot become valid under Hindu Law.

1. Monogomy

If a person is married already, second marriage cannot become valid, thus void.

Section 17 of Hindu Marriage Act

Section 494 of IPC

Section 495 of IPC


2. Sanity

Spouse becomes insane or forcefully married, then marriage is voidable and the party can apply for divorce. Section 12.


3. Age of Parties

Bride 18 Years, Bridegroom 21 Years

As per Section 18 of Hindu Marriage Act punishment is up to 2 years of rigorous imprisonment and file up to Rs. 1,00,000/- or both.


4. Degree of Relationship

Section 18 Punishable fine of Rs. 1000 or 1 month imprisonment or both


Void and Voidable Marriage

Void Marriage -> Void since beginning

Voidable Marriage -> Valid earlier but become voidable and back to unmarried now.

Section 5 - Monogamy - Void

Sapinda - Degree of prohibited relationship - Void

Section 12


Female had pregnancy through other man

Impotent Partner


Marriage without Consent 


Children Section 16

Children born through void and voidable marriages are legitimate

Nature - Criminal

Procedure - Civil, CPC



Section 24, 25 of Hindu Marriage Act

Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act

Section 125 of CrPC

- Basic amenities

- Monthly

- Right of female

- To make sure that the spouse is financially capable.

- Court will make sure that some amenities are provided to both.

Section 24: During the pendency of divorce proceedings at any time, if the wife establishes that she has no sufficient independent income for her support, it is open for her to claim maintenance pendente lite. Order will be pronounced by court within 60 days.



Section 25 of Hindu Marriage Act

- Lump sum after divorce

- Given to spouse who is financially incapable

- Permanent

- Person at lower end files an appeal in court. The court then checks financial of both and passes orders.

Alimony can be cancelled if:

Spouse marries or consummates during proceedings.


Custody of Children

- Order within 60 days

- Court can pass orders from time to time in favour of the one having custody.




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