Supreme Court Declares Hindu Marriage Invalid If Performed Without Certain Ceremonies

Supreme Court made its stance clear on Hindu Marriage


The Supreme Court emphasized that a Hindu marriage should be treated as a sacred sacrament under the Hindu Marriage Act, rather than a mere celebration or transaction. The Court, emphasizing its importance as a ‘samskara’, urged individuals, citing a recent case involving two commercial pilots seeking divorce, to consider the sanctity of marriage in Indian society before entering into it.

The apex law body asserted that marriage should not include lavish celebrations, dowry demands, or be treated as a commercial transaction. It is a sacred union that establishes a man and woman’s lifelong relationship, laying the groundwork for a family and promoting community unity. The Court strongly opposed the practice of informal marriages without a valid ceremony under the Hindu Marriage Act, emphasizing the significance of solemnity and legality in such unions.

Supreme Court Declares Hindu Marriage Invalid If Performed Without Certain Ceremonies

The Supreme Court highlighted that Hindu marriages must follow traditional ceremonies, rejecting excessive celebrations and viewing marriage as a business transaction. The Court emphasized the sacred aspect of marriage, discouraging informal couplings and urging thorough meditation on the institution before entering it. Furthermore, the Court underlined that without adequate ceremonies such as ‘saptapadi’, a marriage cannot be considered as Hindu. It emphasized the equal relationship between spouses and the significance of marriage as a fundamental institution in Indian society.

According to Section 7 of the Hindu Marriage Act, no Hindu marriage exists unless the requisite ceremonies are performed. Simply acquiring a certificate does not constitute marital status or marriage under Hindu law. Marriage registration helps to prove the fact of a wedding, but if it does not comply with Section 7 of the Act, the marriage is not valid. The Special Marriage Act of 1954 allows a man and a woman to become husband and wife.

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The Special Marriage Act of 1954 allows anyone, regardless of race, caste, or creed, to marry. However, the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 requires compliance with Section 5 criteria and marriage solemnization under Section 7. The Supreme Court, using Article 142, deemed the pair not legally married, nullifying their marriage certificate issued without a lawful ceremony under the Hindu Marriage Act.

Additionally, the court dismissed their divorce proceedings and a dowry case filed against the husband and his family members.


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