Validity of Certain Marriages under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

Under the present law there is no requirement that the bride should be younger than the bridegroom.

(2) Male Aged 17 Female Aged 14:

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Such a marriage contrary to s. 5. Cl. (iii). But the marriage remains valid. The only consequence is punishment under s.18.

(3) Bride was a Prostitute prior to the Marriage:

There is no requirement that a bride should be a virgin. However, if the bride had been made pregnant by another, the husband can have the marriage set aside by a decree of nullity, provided: (a) He was ignorant of this fact at the time of the marriage; (b) he did not have marital intercourse after discovering the fact; and (c) the petition is brought within one year from the date of the marriage. Promiscuous intercourse as a prostitute prior to the marriage by itself does not invalidate the marriage.

(4) Bridegroom Becomes Impotent Subsequent to the Marriage:

See note 2.3. Originally subsequent impotency did not invalidate the marriage. It was only if the bridegroom was impotent at the time of the marriage and continued to be so even afterwards that under s. 12. The marriage could be annulled by a decree of nullity treating it as a voidable marriage.

Under the Amending Act of 1976 even impotency subsequent to the marriage is a ground for annulling the marriage under s. 12. The question is whether the marriage has not been consummated owing to the respondent’s impotence. If the answer is in the affirmative, the marriage is voidable under s. 12.

(5) Bride is Bridegroom’s Son’s Widow:

The bride being the widow of a lineal descendant is in a prohibited relationship. Such a marriage is nullity and the marriage is void under s. 11. In Jagannath v. Sadhu Ram, AIR 1934 Lah. 283, it was argued that such a marriage was valid by custom. The argument was rejected.

(6) Bride is Pre-Deceased Brother’s Widow:

A brother’s widow is a prohibited relation for purposes of marriage: s. 3 cl. (g). In the absence of a custom such a marriage is void.

(7) The bride is five years older than the bridegroom.

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