Hindu Marriage Act

Section 11 & 12 Hindu Marriage Act 1955 (HMA) Voidable Marriages

Section 11: Void marriages. “Any marriage solemnised after the commencement of this act shall be null and void and may, on a petition presented by either party thereto, against the other party be so declared by a decree of nullity if it contravenes any one of the conditions specified in clause (i), (iv) and (v), section 5.”

So, according to section 11 of The Hindu Marriage Act 1955, any marriage will be void if:

  1. If either of the party has a spouse who is living at the time of the marriage
  2. If the parties are bounded within the prohibition relationship
  3. If either of the parties “sapindas” to each other

Any marriage which contravenes these conditions, that marriage shall be void-ab-initio, i.e. void marriage from its inception. This falls under the category of a void marriages.

If any of the parties is still married to another person at the time of the marriage, this results in Bigamy, and then the marriage is said to be void, hence there’s no need of formal annulment.

A marriage between brother and sister, or any elder and its descendant, when there is any kind of blood relation, be it half or whole, the marriage is null and void too.

Section 12: Voidable marriages:

A marriage shall be voidable and may be annulled by a decree of nullity on any of the following reasons, such as:

  1. If the marriage has not been consummated owing to the impotency of the other party.
  2. If either party is incapable of giving a valid consent at the time of the marriage, in   consequence of unsoundness of mind
  3. If at the time of the marriage, either party is suffering through any mental disorder to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and having children, though capable of giving a valid consent.
  4. If at the time of the marriage, either party has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy
  5. If the consent of the petitioner was obtained by force or by fraud as to the nature of the ceremony or as to any material fact or circumstance concerning the respondent
  6. If the respondent was at the time of the marriage pregnant by some person other than the petitioner

In a void marriage, the gatherings don't obtain any status of a couple all things considered it doesn't present any common rights and commitments upon the gatherings. Then again, in a voidable marriage the gatherings get status of a couple and it gives shared rights and commitments upon the gatherings for all reasons until an announcement of court abrogates it.


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