Tuesday 28 November 2023

What is distinction between “Void Marriages” and “Voidable Marriages” as per Hindu Marriage Act?

 Under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, "Void Marriages" and "Voidable Marriages" are two distinct legal concepts:

  1. Void Marriages: A void marriage is considered invalid from the beginning, as if it never took place. It is void ab initio, meaning it is treated as though it never existed. A marriage is void if it contravenes Clauses(1) (4) and (5) of S 5 of Hindu Marriage Act.  The grounds for a marriage to be declared void are specified in Section 11 of the Hindu Marriage Act. Some common grounds for void marriages include:

  • Bigamy: When either party is already married to another person at the time of marriage.{Clause 1}

  • Prohibited relationship: When the parties are within the degrees of prohibited relationship, such as close blood relatives.{clause 4}

  • Sapindas: If The parties are sapindas of each other.{Clause 5}.

  1. Voidable Marriages: A voidable marriage, on the other hand, is initially considered valid, but can be annulled by either party based on certain grounds specified in Section 12 of the Hindu Marriage Act. The grounds for a marriage to be declared voidable include:


  • (a )Non-consummation: When the marriage has not been consummated due to the impotence of either party.

  • (b )Mental disorder: When either party suffers from a mental disorder that makes them unfit for marriage.

  • (c ) Consent obtained by fraud or force: When consent for the marriage was obtained through coercion, fraud, or undue influence.

  • (d) Respondent pregnant at the time of marriage by some person other than the petitioner.

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