VOID MARRIAGES (SECTION 11 OF HINDU MARRIAGE ACT,1955)

by | Dec 8, 2023

INTRODUCTION

Marriage holds a significant place in Hindu society, being deeply intertwined with religious and social aspects. The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 outlines the essential conditions for a valid Hindu marriage under Section 5. However, marriages failing to meet these conditions are deemed void under Section 11 of the Act. This discussion explores three key grounds for Void Marriages:-

  • bigamy, 
  • degrees of prohibited relationship, and 
  • sapinda relationship.

BIGAMY: A VOID OFFENSE

Bigamy, the act of marrying someone while still legally married to another, is a grave offense under Hindu law. Section 5(i) of the Hindu Marriage Act explicitly states that parties to a marriage should not have a living spouse at the time of marriage. Violation of this condition renders the marriage void under Section 11.

Legal Ramifications:-

  • Section 17 of the Hindu Marriage Act complements Section 11, making the offending party liable for prosecution under Section 494 and Section 495 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Illustration:

  • Consider parties ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘C.’ If ‘A’ has a living spouse ‘B’ but marries ‘C,’ this act constitutes bigamy, resulting in a void marriage.

DEGREES OF PROHIBITED RELATIONSHIP: BOUNDARIES DEFINED

Section 5(iv) of the Hindu Marriage Act prohibits marriages between individuals within certain degrees of prohibited relationship, as defined in Section 3(g). Marriages violating this condition are rendered void under Section 11.

Legal Consequences:-

  • Contravention of Section 5(iv) attracts penalties under Section 18(b) of the Hindu Marriage Act, including simple imprisonment or a fine, or both.

Customary Exception:-

  • The Act acknowledges that if the custom or usage governing the parties permits marriage within prohibited degrees, the marriage will be considered valid.

Illustration:-

  • If parties ‘A’ and ‘B’ engage in a prohibited relationship, this marriage falls under the category of void marriages.

SAPINDA RELATIONSHIP: NAVIGATING BLOOD TIES

Section 5(v) of the Hindu Marriage Act prohibits marriages between sapindas, defining conditions for a valid Hindu marriage. Marriages within sapinda relationships are void under Section 11, with associated penalties outlined in Section 18(b).

Customary Allowance:-

  • The Act allows for the validity of marriages within sapinda relationships if the custom or usage governing the parties permits such unions.

Illustration:-

  • In a scenario where ‘A’ and ‘B’ have a blood relationship, making them sapindas, their marriage is considered void.

CONSEQUENCES OF A VOID MARRIAGE

  • Absence of Marital Status
  • Parties in a void marriage do not hold the position of husband and wife.
  • Legitimacy of Children
  • Children born out of Void Marriages are deemed legitimate, as per Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
  • Void of Mutual Rights and Obligations
  • Void Marriages lack the mutual rights and obligations inherent in lawful marriages.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, Void Marriages under Hindu law are considered null and void from their inception. Violating the conditions specified in Sections 5(i), 5(iv), and 5(v) of the Hindu Marriage Act triggers Section 11, rendering the marriage void. The legal consequences include the absence of marital status, legitimacy of children, and the voidance of mutual rights and obligations. It is crucial for individuals to adhere to these conditions to ensure the validity of their marriages under Hindu law.

REFERENCE 

1-https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/children-from-void-voidable-marriages-are-legitimate-can-claim-rights-in-parents-properties-sc/article67259229.ece/amp/ -THE HINDU

2-https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/kids-of-invalid-marriages-have-right-to-property-share-supreme-court-101693596606697-amp.html -HINDUSTAN TIMES

3-https://indianexpress.com/article/india/supreme-court-children-from-void-marriage-legitimate-8919437/lite/ -INDIAN EXPRESS 

4-https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/allahabad-high-court-rules-first-wife-can-seek-declaration-of-husband-s-second-marriage-as-void-in-landmark-case-101690921392989-amp.html -HINDUSTAN TIMES

 

 

Written By Archana Singh

I am Archana Singh, a recent law master's graduate with a strong aspiration for the judicial service. My passion lies in elucidating complex legal concepts, disseminating legal news, and enhancing legal awareness. I take immense pride in introducing my new legal website - The LawGist. Through my meticulously crafted blogs and articles, I aim to empower individuals with comprehensive legal insights. My unwavering dedication is to facilitate a profound comprehension of the law, enabling people to execute judicious and well-informed choices.

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