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The High Level Committee on People of Indian Origin was told
by large sections of the Diaspora about the need to prevent
abuse of Indian women married to NRls/PIOs. The panel strongly
recommend that a special cell should be created in the proposed
new organisation to handle Diaspora issues with the mandate
to assist in the provision of free legal counseling for the
families of girls contemplating marriage to NRls/PIOs.
should be advised to check the voter or alien registration
card of such NRIs/PIOs, their social security number and tax
returns for the preceding three years. The bridegroom should
be asked to give them an affidavit stating his current marital
should be attached to the application for marriage registration.
This should be a mandatory pre-requisite to the issuance of
a marriage registration certificate. This procedure would
considerably bring down cases of misinformation and fraudulent
has drawn strength from the Supreme Court decision in the
case of Smt. Neeraja Saraph vs. Shri Jayant Saraph, where
the court had suggested the need to consider legislation safeguarding
the interests of women. It had suggested three specific provisions,
marriage between an NRI and an Indian woman, which has taken
place in India, may be annulled by a foreign court.
may be made for adequate alimony to the wife in the property
of the husband both in India and abroad.
decree granted by Indian courts may be made executable in
foreign courts both on the principle of comity and by entering
into reciprocal agreements like section 4A of the Civil Procedure
Code, which makes a foreign decree executable, as it would
have been a decree passed by that court.
out this simplified version of Hindu Marriage Act. [THE
HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955]
by [Act No. 2 of 1978] An Act to amend and codify the law
relating to marriage among Hindus.
Short title and extent- Sec.1
may be called the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
to whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and
applies also to Hindus who are residing abroad.
Application of Act -Sec.2
applies to those who are Hindus, Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by
religion, but not to Muslim, Chirstian, Parsi or Jew by religion.
Their respective Acts governs them.
-The following persons are Hindu, Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs
by religion, as the case may be:
child, both of whose parents are Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas
or Sikhs by religion.
only one of the parents is Hindu, the child only then will
be considered as Hindu.
person who is a convert or re-convert to the Hindu, Buddhist,
Jain or Sikh religion.
Conditions for a Hindu Marriage- Sec.5
party (husband or wife) has a spouse living at the time of
marriage, otherwise he/she will be punished for bigamy;
the time of marriage, neither party:
him/her unfit for marriage &
be of unsound mind such that it incapacitates a person from
giving a valid consent to marriage. It need not be continuous
unsoundness of mind, it may exist just before the marriage.
be suffering from mental disorder which
birth to child.
be suffering from recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy
even if curable.
iv. The bridegroom
has completed the age of [twenty-one years] and the bride the
age of [eighteen years] at the time of the marriage;
v. The parties
to marriage should not be in a prohibited relationship for example
brother/sister, aunt-nephew, uncle-niece, cousin etc, unless
the custom allows. For example in Muslims, marriage between
cousins is allowed.
any of the parties to the marriage is in direct degrees of
ascent (upward relatives) within 5-generations to the other
through the mother.
(4) Ceremonies for a
Hindu marriage -Sec.7
Hindu marriage may be performed in accordance with the customary
rites and ceremonies of one of the parties to marriage.
such rites and ceremonies include the saptapadi (that is,
taking of seven steps by the bridegroom and the bride jointly
before the sacred fire), the marriage becomes complete and
binding when the seventh step is taken.
Registration of Hindu marriage -Sec.8
of marriage does not effect the validity of a marriage, however
for the sake of a proof, the marriage maybe registered within
15 days of the date of marriage.
Restoration of the respective rights possessed by husband
and wife -Sec.9
imposes a duty on both spouses to live with each other, the
difference it makes to the lives of individuals is that parties
will live together, however if one party refuses to live with
the other, the latter can compel the former to live with him/her,
by a legal process.
Judicial separation Sec.10
for judicial separation can be filed on the same grounds on
which application for divorce can be filed. Ordinarily, judicial
separation either leads to reconciliation or to divorce. Judicial
separation leaves the doors open to reconcile again. In judicial
separation it is no longer obligatory for husband or wife
to live together or cohabit. By the mutual consent of husband
or wife the decree of the court of judicial separation can
come to an end.
Invalid Marriages -Sec.11
can come to an end if it is in contravention of the conditions
of the Hindu marriage Act-1955.
Decree of divorce - Decree of nullity - carries the same meaning
i.e. the relationship of marriage has been brought to an end
by process of court by decree. AIR 1989 SC 1477.
by the increasing incidents of girls who marry non-resident
Indians being ill-treated, the Ministry
of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India has drawn
up guidelines for people who want their daughters married
abroad. Check out the section on How to marry an NRI, safely