• My marriage is valid or not in the eyes of law

Dear Sir, I was pursuing diploma from a polytechnic college & in June 2015, I got married with my junior in a temple which was located in college campus. We got married without parents consents. There was no any pandit and no one else, only a friend was there to take videos of our marriage. We did four rituals as 1. Varmaala 2. Sindoor on head 3. Mangalsutra and 4. Saat Phere around the Holy Fire taking oath at Saat Phere. Both were Hindu & 24 and 18 years old at that time. She told me to live with me after completing diploma. 
 After sometimes she started cheating me and making money from me. Now after completing diploma, she is doing job and gave me up forever, telling me that you are nothing of mine, there are so many boys like you in my life, go to hell. But I want to live with her. I told all the things to her family members but they are threatening me. 
 I want to know that is my marriage valid in the eyes of court or not valid? If it is valid, what can I do further?
Asked 5 years ago in Family Law
Religion: Hindu

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13 Answers

Hello!

Regarding ceremonies and completeness and bindingness .of a Hindu Marriage, this is what the law says:

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"Section 7 of Hindu Marriage Act:

Ceremonies for a Hindu marriage.-

(1) A Hindu marriage may be solemnized in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of either party thereto.

(2) Where such rites and ceremonies include the saptapadi (that is, the taking of seven steps by the bridegroom and the bride jointly before the sacred fire), the marriage becomes complete and binding when the seventh step is taken.

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Going by the above legal requirements, I think, in your case, the requirements are complete, especially when Saat Phere were complete.

What the law requires is that the marriage may be performed in accordance with CUSTOMARY RITES AND CEREMONIES of EITHER OF THE PARTIES.

The four things that you stated in your query such as Varmaala, Sindoor on head, Mangalsutra and Saat Phere around Holy Fire, are normally accepted rites and ceremonies of a Hindu Marriage. Presence of a Pandit is not a must.

The only thing is that there should be a clear and cogent evidence of such proper performance of marriage, which should show that the parties were voluntarily getting married without any coercion or fraud, or undue inducement.

Once there is a proper performance of marriage by proper sanskaras, then a legal relationship between the parties as husband and wife is created, which clothe both the parties with certain rights and duties.

A party has a right to company of his / her spouse. In case the other party is not staying with his / her spouse, the spouse can file an application for restitution of conjugal rights under section 9 of Hindu Marriage Act before Family Court.

But the proper advice would be to win your lady back by tact and persuasion and love, instead of going to court immediately, as it is difficult to seek a woman's company by coercing her against her will. It will only add to complications.

All the best.

Nahush Khubalkar
Advocate, Nagpur
69 Answers
20 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Your marriage is valid

Invocation before the sacred fire, and (ii) the saptpadi are the two essential ceremonies of marriage

2) you can file for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty and desertion

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
87595 Answers
6133 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Immediately file a restitution of conjugal right case under section 9 of Hindu marriage act before family court and demand your wife back, now they have to proved before the court that this is not a valid marriage.

Your marriage is valid till they disproved before the court.

The witness is most important in this scenario who was present at the time of your marriage and that video will be strong evidence in your favour.

Feel Free to Call

Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
6220 Answers
301 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

this is valid marriage because saptpadi i.e. saat fere has been completed. the hindu marriage act does not require to solemnise marriage in presence of a pandit. if marriage is solemnised by any of the ceremony i.e. saptpadi, prevalent in parties customs then such marriage is valid.

you can file RCR before the court because she is your legally wedded wife so she cannot refuse your union unless she has a reasonable cause.

Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
5127 Answers
78 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

For valid marriage it is necessary that 7 phere have to be done around the sacred fire

2) testimony of witness that 7 phere were done would be necessary to prove valid marriage

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
87595 Answers
6133 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Hi

The marriage is legal as per hindu rites, os you can ask for a restitution of conjugal rights(RCR).

Even if the court orders an RCR , it cannot force your wife to come and stay with you.

However this is only option legally available to you , to protect yourself and get your right as a husband.

In the court the marriage will be treated as legally existing.

You cannot get married again in life without a formal decree of divorce from the court, it is necessary to approach the ocurt, if you want her back an RCR or else a divorce petition

Thresiamma G. Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
1631 Answers
210 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

saptpadi means seven steps only..... it does not mean to take seven rounds. it shall not affect your case. if both parties had taken seven steps of the holy fire then this condition is fulfilled.

Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
5127 Answers
78 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

1. If she does not want to stay with you, no court on the earth can force her to stay with you against her wish.

2. So, it will be a futile effort on your part to try to compel her to stay with you as your wife.

3. You can claim that you have married her by following the rituals but she also can claim that it was not a marriage since there was no Pandit to perform the marriage and what has been recorded is for drama only.

4. To prove that the marriage has been solemnised, one has to submit the marriage certificate issued by the priest or temple which you do not have.

5. The Court may not accept that you are married based on the video in absence of marriage certificate issued by the temple or priest.

Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
26517 Answers
726 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. As suggested in my earlier post, she might state that it was shown to have been done for recording it as drama or any such excuse.

2. Her strong point will be that no Hindu marriage can be solemnised by performing the religious rites without the priest and the recording is for showing a drama of a marriage event.

3. Court will be reluctant to accept it as marriage without the marriage certificate issued by the temple or the priest.

Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
26517 Answers
726 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

I want to know that is my marriage valid in the eyes of court or not valid? If it is valid, what can I do further?

Though there is no much evidence to prove your marriage, the marriage video and the photographs as well as the eye witnesses to the solemnisation of marriage shall be adequate enough to prove you marriage.

You may first issue her a legal notice asking her to return to the matrimonial fold since she is yor wife, if she do not respond or not complying with the request made, you may file a petition before the court under section 9 of Hindu marriage act seeking restitution of conjugal rights.

The video, photos and the legal notice shall be documentary evidences for your marriage solemnised with her.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
77748 Answers
1508 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

as mentioned in the earlier question, Only six (6) phere around the Holy fire has been captured in the videos taken at that time . Will it affect the case or not? If yes, how much?

The video showing the going around the fire a ritual essential for a valid marriage under Hindu laws, will be sufficient to prove the solemnisation of marriage.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
77748 Answers
1508 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Under law, that means under Hindu marriage act, a Hindu marriage must be solemnised in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of at least one of the two parties thereto (and must fulfil the conditions prescribed by section 5 of the act). The word "solemnised" means, to celebrate marriage with proper ceremonies and in due form. Unless the marriage is celebrated or performed with proper ceremonies and in due form, it cannot be said to be 'solemnised'. Merely going through certain ceremonies with the intention that the parties are taken to be married, will not make them the ceremonies prescribed by law or approved by any established custom. When essential ceremonies constituting a Hindu marriage are not proved, it cannot validate the marriage.

Hindu marriage act, does not, however, prescribe the ceremonies requisites for solemnised of the marriage, but leaves it to the parties to choose a form of ceremonial marriage which is in accordance with any custom or usage applicable to either party. And where the form adopted in includes the Saptapadi, that means the taking of seven steps by the bridegroom and the bride jointly before the sacred fire, the marriage becomes complete when the seven step is taken. The Supreme Court of India, taking note of the ceremony of Saptapadi, has held that when the seven rounds are taken around the sacred fire, they cannot be short of seven steps. [See the case of Vishnu Prakash Vs. Sheela Devi reported in (2001) 4 SCC 729]. This is in accordance with existing law.

This rule relating to the essential ceremonies of a Hindu marriage proceeds on the principle that the marriage being one of the sanskaras for a Hindu male or female, it must be performed with the necessary religious rites and at the same time, recognises the position that the customary rites and ceremonies vary in different parts of the country and also among different castes and communities.

What is to be noted is that though section 7 of Hindu marriage act emphasises the importance of the Saptapadi, it does not insist upon the same because even under the previous law the rule was that a marriage may be complete by the performance of ceremonies other than those referred to in the said section, where it was allowed by the custom of the cast to which parties belonged.

While performing your own marriage, you seem to have chosen to include the ceremony of Saptapadi. If this is so, then for your marriage to become complete and binding it becomes necessary that both of you should have taken all the seven steps around the sacred fire, and nothing short of that (at this is ruled by the honourable Supreme Court). Taking six steps only will not do. That will not make marriage complete and binding. Only you know whether all the seven steps were taken or not.

You seem to have created an evidence by capturing the ceremonies of your marriage on some video capturing device but the device seems to have captured only six steps. Please bear in mind that actual happening of an event and capturing of that event on the video recording device are two different things. It may be possible that the event which happens completely does not get captured completely on the video recording device. In such a situation it cannot be said that the actual event has not happened in its completeness.

What is important to be examined is exactly what was the reason as to why the video recording device captured only six steps and not all seven. Was it because of a sudden mechanical failure of the video capturing device? Or was it because of sudden and training of the battery of that the video capturing device, or sudden power failure? Were such failures in capturing the video footage genuine or created? Does the video footage suddenly stops after six steps? or whether it shows further recording in which it becomes clear that not all the seven steps were taken but only six steps were taken?

If video capturing of all the seven steps has not become possible because of any genuine reason then that need not affect the fact that all the seven steps were actually taken. The only thing is that, that video footage may not be a good piece of evidence for you to prove that you perform a valid marriage.

In such a situation you will have to heavily rely upon your own testimony before the court (in case the matter goes to court) to prove your marriage, and you may be put to heavy cross examination by the other side, if the other side disputes your assertions.

If video capturing of all the seven steps could not be done because of some non-genuine reason, then it may expose you, and may land you in trouble for creating false evidence. So beware.

Having said that, I pondered over the second part of your question in which you are asked:

"After sometimes she started cheating me and making money from me. Now after completing diploma, she is doing job and gave me up forever, telling me that you are nothing of mine, there are so many boys like you in my life, go to hell. But I want to live with her. I told all the things to her family members but they are threatening me. I want to know that is my marriage valid in the eyes of court or not valid? If it is valid, what can I do further?"

I think this is the kind of girl she is, if this is the kind of character that she possesses, if she has many boyfriends, or if she intends to make them, and that she's not interested in becoming yours, then what is the point in deciding for such kind of girl as your wife? Added to that is the fact that family members are also not willing to go ahead with this kind of relationship with you and are threatening you. Imagine, even if by hook or crook you manage to prove the validity of your marriage and get her at your home as your wife against her wishes, will she be loyal to you? How would you feel if while staying with you she maintains relationships with other men? I know these are all your personal matters, but as a Counsel, I feel it proper to make you aware of these possibilities too. Sometimes certain things come as a boon in disguise. One has to recognise them.

Hope you will be able to overcome this wrangle.

Sorry for some delay in responding to your second question, as I was busy in my work.

Wish you all the best for your life.

Nahush Khubalkar
Advocate, Nagpur
69 Answers
20 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

An addition:

The ceremony of Saptpadi consists in taking seven steps and it is not necessary to go round the fire seven times. ( Sitabai vs. Vittabai, AIR 1959 Bombay 508 ; Bhorilal vs. Kanshaliya AIR 1970 Raj. 83)

The marriage becomes complete and irrevocable on completion of Saptpadi or ceremony of seven steps. Till then marriage is imperfect and revocable.

Nahush Khubalkar
Advocate, Nagpur
69 Answers
20 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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