Validity of Hindu Marriage
- The Act now makes no distinction between the marriage of a maiden and the marriage of a widow.etc 5-Marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus if following conditions are fulfilled.
- (i) Neither party has a spouse living at the time of marriage [Bigamy not allowed] –already married but wife died –allowed –A person marries during the life time of his or her spouse, but his early marriage was null and void—does he /she commit bigamy?
- Sec 11 HMA makes it void & Sec 17 makes it punishable fewer than 494&495 of IPC. For prosecution under above-the first marriage should be perfectly valid & should have been solemnized according to proper ceremonies. If first marriage is void or voidable-a person can’t be prosecuted for bigamy.
- Sarla Mudgal v.UOI AIR 1995 SC
- Sc put a check on the practice of Hindus to embrace Islam in order to contract a second marriage. Unless and until first marriage is dissolved by decree under HMA, Second marriage during subsistence of first would be void and punishable.
- Judicial Remedies available with aggrieved—one can initiate cri. Proceeding, can claim divorce & file petition for maintenance allowance. The aggrieved can also seek injunction to restrain spouse from marriage under code of civil procedure. In case of bigamous marriage-second wife has no status of wife but she can start cri. Proceeding if she was not aware of existence of first marriage of erring spouse. She can file declaratory suit under Specific Relief Act.
(ii) Mental Capacity [soundness of mind]-if party is of unsound mind-it is voidable at instance of other party. Mental condition-pre-marriage is applicable. If one becomes person of unsound mind after marriage then? Mere mental weakness, foolishness, excessive sentimentalism etc are not covered. Person is ‘unfit’ if unable to carry out the ordinary duties and obligations of marriage.