Legal Significance of the form of Marriage at the Present Day under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

If the property had been inherited by her from her husband, it will devolve upon his heirs. If the property had been inherited by her from her father-in-law, it will devolve upon her husband (or his heirs). So the form of marriage has now absolutely no legal significance.

When there is a prosecution for Bigamy the question whether the alleged second marriage conformed to the recognised form assumes importance. In Bhaurao v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1965 SC 1564, there was a prosecution for Bigamy. With reference to the alleged second marriage there was no proof that the essential shastric ceremonies of invocation before the sacred fire and Saptapadi were performed.

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It was held that the conviction for Bigamy in such circumstances was not justified. The Supreme Court observed: “the marriage to which s. 494 Indian Penal Code (Bigamy) applies on account of the provisions of the Act (s. 17 of the Act of 1955) should have been celebrated with proper ceremonies and in due form.

Merely going through certain ceremonies with the intention that the parties be taken to be married will not make the ceremonies prescribed by law or approved by any established custom”. The conviction for Bigamy was quashed.

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