Essay on the Sapinda Relationship in Hindu Marriage

It has also been clarified that relationship includes —

(i) Relationship by full blood, half blood, as well as uterine blood;

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(ii) Legitimate as well as illegitimate blood relationship; and

(iii) Blood relationship, as well as relationship by adoption.

From what has been stated above, the following seven rules as regards sapinda relationship can be laid down:

(1) Sapinda relationship extends as far as the third generation in the line of ascent through the mother in case of both the parties.

(2) Sapinda relationship extends as far as the fifth generation in the line of ascent through the father in case of both the parties.

(3) Sapinda relationship may subsist only through the father, or only through the mother, for both the parties, or it may be through the father in case of one of the parties and through the mother in case of the other.

(4) The line is to be traced upwards in case of both the parties, counting such party as the first generation. Thus, the generation in the line of ascent (whether third or fifth) is to be counted inclusive of the person concerned and the common ancestor or ancestress.

(5) The line of ascent not restricted to a male ancestor, but covers females also. Thus, for example, a person’s father’s mother’s father, as also his father’s father, is in the line of ascent through the father. Similarly, the mother’s mother, as well as the mother’s father, is in the line of ascent through the mother.

(6) Sapinda relationship includes relationship by full blood, half blood, uterine blood, as well as by adoption.

(7) Sapinda relationship includes both legitimate and illegitimate blood relationships.

Sapinda relationship can be illustrated by the following diagrams

In the above diagram (Diagram No. 1), X denotes the person concerned, F denotes the father, M the mother, MF stands for his mother’s father, FF for the father’s father, and so on. As per the above rules, the sapinda relationship of X extends upto MF (three generations) on the mother’s side, and upto FFFF (five generations) on the father’s side. It will be seen that in both cases, X is counted as the first generation.

Another illustration of sapinda relationship may be considered as under:

In the above diagram (i.e., Diagram No. 2) (where D denotes a daughter), F3 [who is the common ancestor of A (the bridegroom) and D2] is the father’s father’s father’s father of A, and the mother’s father of D2. As F3 is the fifth generation from A in the line of A’s father and the third generation from D2, in the mother’s line, A and D2 are sapindas of each other.

In the same diagram, FMFF, the common ancestor of A (the bridegroom) and D9, is the father’s mother’s father’s father of A, and the mother’s father of D9. As FMFF is the fifth generation from A in the line of A’s father, and the third generation from D9 in her mother’s line, A and D9 are also sapindas of each other.

One more illustration of sapinda relationship may now be considered:

In the table given (Diagram No. 3), A is the common ancestor. He has a son, F3 and a daughter, M. F3 has a son, F2, who in turn has a son, F1. S1 and D1 are the son and daughter respectively of F1. Similarly, in the other line, M has a son, S2, and a daughter, D2.

Now, counting from S1 or D1 (counting them as the first generation) and tracing the line upwards upto A, one finds that A is exactly the fifth generation from either S1 or D1, and that F3, F2 and F1 are lineal ascendants within the limit of the fifth generation. Therefore, A, F3, F2, F1, S1 and D1 are all sapindas of one another.

On the other side, if one counts from either S2 or D2 (counting them as the first generation) through their mother M, and if one traces the line upwards upto A, it will be seen that A is exactly three generations away from either S2 or D2. Therefore, A, M, S2 and D2 are all sapindas of one another.

Now, S1, D1, F1, F2 and F3 on the one side, and S2, D2 and M on the other side, have a common lineal ascendant A, who is within the limits of sapinda relationship with reference to each of them. All of them are, therefore, sapindas of one another.

Two persons are said to be within the degrees of prohibited relationship:

(1) If one is a lineal ascendant of the other; or

(2) If one is the wife or husband of the lineal ascendant or descendant of the other; or

(3) If one is the wife of the brother or of the father’s or mother’s brother, or of the grandfather’s or grandmother’s brother of the other; or

(4) If the two are brother and sister, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, or children of brother and sister, or of two brothers or of two sisters.

It has also been expressly clarified that relationship includes—

(i) Relationship by full blood, half blood, as well as uterine blood;

(ii) Legitimate, as well as illegitimate, blood relationship; and

(iii) Blood relationship, as well as relationship by adoption.

(It is to be noted that one of the conditions of a valid Hindu marriage is that the parties should not be with the degrees of prohibited relationship.

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