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Honey (IT )     16 May 2011

Is it a complete marriage


My friend was working with me and she was called by her father one day saying he is sick and serious conditioned. Later forced her and took to some temple to get married. She is a south india from Karnataka and the boy is from north. They changed the garland and did some pujas and sent her to the boys house. She was in shock and did not what is happening at that time.

She stayed in boys home for a week and returned to her parents home saying she does not want this relationship as it was forced by parents.

My question is.

1. Is it a true marriage and complete wedding though boy did not tie any mangalsutra.

2. How can she come out of this as she want to continue working and planning to get married to some other guy.

3. Do she need to apply for a divorce if it is a complete marriage.

Please suggest as she is in very dipressed mind and do not know about her future.

Thanks in advance!


 11 Replies

niranjan (civil practice)     16 May 2011

This cannot be said  valid marriage as no ceremony before holy fire was performed as per hindu method.Do they have photographs ?Pl.see that she is not forced to get such marriage registered.Better consult lawyer and give public notice that no such ceremony was performed and you weere forced to undergo such ceremony and it was without your free consent.Since her father is against her,she will have to take legal steps and if needed criminal action against all.






zimmerzapper (student)     16 May 2011

is it that you want to break her marriage?

adv. rajeev ( rajoo ) (practicing advocate)     16 May 2011

If she is not interested then she can it is not valid marriage.  She could have protested at the time of mariage. She kep-t quiet now she cannot it is forced marriage.  If she is not interested then she will have to search for other grounds to get divorce.

Bhawani Mahapatra (Law Officer)     16 May 2011

Dear Honey

As per your narration, the marriage was solemnized in a temple, garland was exchanged, the bride was sent to her in-law's house, stayed there for a week. The girl was a working somewhere(means she is major). So it cannot at all said that, the marriage was solemnized against the will of the girl. There are various forms of marriage in Hindu Law. All marriage are not done as per the Law. Some times customs prevail over the laws. So it is sufficient, if their society considered as a marriage. Not having photographs as proof of marriage, or mangalsutra doesn't matter.

Secondly, so far as the matter of divorce is concern, its not so easy to get a diverce order as people say. There must have some valid reason, and sufficent lapse of time is also necessary to file divorce petition. So don't think about that..

Tajobsindia (Senior Partner )     16 May 2011

@ Author

Solely based on the brief it is a valid marriage as per SC judgment decided on similar facts.

2. However since it is not known about the year the marriage took place it can also be interpreted as per SC other Judgment (views) that it is not a valid marriage.
SC says based on peculiar case fact following for a valid Hindu marriage;
a. Garland exchange (mere) in a temple is a valid marriage.
b. Walking seven times around a fire is a valid marriage.
c. Mangalsutra (mere) tying in a temple in front of a priest is also a valid marriage.
d. If customary practice says that mere exchanged garland in front of a priest under Vedic mantras by the couple then it is also considered a valid marriage.

Unless it is told to us when the marriage took place (i.e. year) you are bound to get clouded interpretation on your briefs however I will go by above quoted SC interpretation on valid Hindu marriage which were decided based on each case facts. Your case fact does touch one of the held as pointed above as per interpretation of SC Laws on subject matter.

However I am not touching other blurred facts of your briefs and completely omitting intent and object of this post for which others may have their independent say and it does not touch SC interpretations.


hema (law officer)     16 May 2011


I hope my answer will satisfy you in all respects and move forward with the knolwedge provided by my reply.

The marriage is big "VOIDABLE" marriage. Nothing to worry about ceremonies.  Whether garlands were exchanged, whether mangalsutra was tied or sapta padi was taken around the holy fire or Arundhati Nakshatra was shown or not will be totally immaterial in your case.  before further going on, i will quote the relevant section 7 which talka about ceremonies:

"7. 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."

Do not worry.  by seeing the above section, you may get confused that as the marriage was solemnized with customary rites and ceremonies, the marriage became complete.  But it is not so.  Similarly do not argue, that as per your customs, saptapadi is an essential ritual and as it has not been performed, the marriage is incomplete.

Why, I am saying this marriage is voidable?  It is in Section 12 (1)(c):

"12(1) Any marriage solemnized, jwhether before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be voidable and may be annulled by decree of nullity on any of the following grounds, namely-



(c) that the consent of the petitioner............was obtained by force.

In your case, the force is applied against you to get the marriage solemnized.  so, the marriage is voidable and you can get it annuled.  only the proviso is

"(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), no petition for annulling a marriage:

(a)  on the ground specified in clause (c) of sub-section (1), shall be entertained

(i)  .....................

(ii) the petitioner has, with his or her full consent, lived with the other partu to the marriage as husband or wife after the force had ceased to operate or ....."

Now, you have to prove the following facts:

(1)  The force has been applied against you.

(2)  Immediately after ceasing the force, you approached the court.

(3) you never lived with him with full and free consent.

You need not to prove whether ceremonies were completely performed or not.  

You need not to bother even about that, why this much of time has taken for you to approach the court.  As soon as the force has ceased, you approached the court.

you might have seen several bolly wood and indian regional films, where the villan drugs the heroin and carries her to temple by force and carry her seven times around the fire and try to tie the mangal sutra and at that juncture hero comes and stops him and fights him before villan tries to tie mangalsutra.  the real life is not like that.  even though he ties, she cannot become his wife as it is a forced one.  if you are interested, even you can register very serious criminal offences against him  and the father, who forced this entire drama. 

  I am not going to prolong discussion with any other member, except with the author.

Warm regards,

1 Like

Avnish Kaur (Consultant)     16 May 2011

its a valid marriage and can be voided under 12 1 c .

1 Like

Arup (UNEMPLOYED)     17 May 2011

ms kaur correct.

her father compailed her forcefully to marry a guy.  ---  is it?

how she protest before, at the time of marriage and after marriage?

Arup (UNEMPLOYED)     17 May 2011

1. Is it a true marriage and complete wedding though boy did not tie any mangalsutra.   ---  normally the court will accept it as a valid marriage, but if she complains, the validity of the marriage will be in question.

Arup (UNEMPLOYED)     17 May 2011

2. How can she come out of this as she want to continue working and planning to get married to some other guy.     ----    either by divorce or by a declaration by the competent court that the marriage is voidable and hereby declared void.

HMA Sec 12. Voidable marriages.

(1)Any marriage solemnized, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be voidable and may be annulled by a decree of nullity on any of the following grounds, namely

(c) That the consent of the petitioner, was obtained by force or by fraud as to the nature of the ceremony or as to any material fact or circumstances concerning the respondent;

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), no petition for annulling a marriage- (a) on the ground specified in clause (c) of sub-section (1) shall be entertained if- (i) the petition is presented more than one year after the force had ceased to operate or, as the case may be, the fraud had been discovered;

(i) That the petitioner was at the time of the marriage ignorant of the facts alleged;

(ii) That proceedings have been instituted in the case of a marriage solemnized before the commencement of this Act within one year of such commencement and in the case of marriages solemnized after such commencement within one year from the date of the marriage; and

(iii) That marital intercourse with the consent of the petitioner has not taken place since the discovery by the petitioner of the existence of the said ground.

Arup (UNEMPLOYED)     17 May 2011

apply immediately, as it is time bound.


3. Do she need to apply for a divorce if it is a complete marriage.   ---   yes.

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