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Pratija Goyal (None)     20 November 2014

Is marriage valid without saptapadi ?


I am Hindu girl and i married a Hindu NRI man in India as per Tamil tradition in a temple.

We have pictures and videos of the marriage and also temple certificate.But being a south Indian marriage we only had mangalsutra tying and 3 rounds around the fire which is not 7 and not Saptpadi.

We are married for last 1 years 5 months and the marriage is not registered and also not consummated and we also not living together.We only lived together in total 10 days.

Please let me know if its a legal marriage if there is only 3 Pheras instead of 7 .


 12 Replies

Nitin (Law)     21 November 2014

Hindu Marriage Act 1955

Section 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.


This can be interpreted in many different ways but if you read the exact sentence as per English Dictionary then.The first point states the marriage may be solemnized(celebrated) but it does not say its complete and binding.The second point states include the Saptapadi  then the marriage becomes complete and binding.

As these are 2 different statements and points so the complete and binding applies to second statement with Saptapadi and not with first.Now you may interpret the way you like and the way judges want.


NATARAJAN IYER (Proprietor)     21 November 2014

YES, it is LEGALLY VALID marriage.

The Law clearly uses the word CUSTOMARY.

As per the customs of south indians, the marriage has happened.

The pheras are customary. 

Suppose he were to be a south indian girl and you were to be a north indian man, instead of mangal-sutra you have the sindhoor on his fore-head and he ( as a girl in this example ) denies that the marriage is valid, just because the mangal-sutra was not tied, will you accept the statement ?

Now return to your question in this forum. I hope you got the answer.

Staying together and consummated or not is personal choice. Again for example, a man stays with his wife for ten days and then goes to the border since he is a military officer. will his marriage be invalid ?


Unless there is a divorce formally, you are LEGALLY Man and Wife.

The debate ends here.

Nitin (Law)     21 November 2014

I would like to raise few questions here on the term LEGALLY VALID

Yes the law clearly uses the word CUSTOMARY which means marriage celebrated in different customs and yes the pheras also customary.

But nowhere in the law book it states the word "marriage becomes complete and binding" other than Saptapadi.So one can celebrate the marriage the way one wants as per their customs but celebrating the marriage does not make it complete and binding.In such situation to make the marriage complete and binding one needs to register after the marriage is solemnized(celebrated).
Make clear solemnize means to celebrate and celebration does not make it legal and binding as in India there are thousands of customs and anyone can celebrate the marriage the way they want.

About your example of a man stays with his wife for ten days and then goes to the border does not make sense because in the last decade marriage has become more a business and not like the past and wife never took family matters to court and file false criminal laws to take revenge when marriage does not work.In current situation many things needs to be considered to check if the marriage is really valid and not just a celebration.When our legal system wants to follow the west then they should also follow the law books and not talk about caste,traditions,customs,culture,religion etc.


Sweety its not about the number of circles or the vows that you take or the mantras that are chanted or the registration of marriage.  Marriage is union of minds.  You been married for 1.5 years.  In these days where marriages wont last even a day you have done great.  Forget all that.  Contact husband and resolve differences between you both.  Photographs and vidoes are enough to prove your marriage to him. 

1 Like

NATARAJAN IYER (Proprietor)     22 November 2014

As per the HINDU marriage ACT and please refer to earlier judgements, the marriage ceremony conducted as per rituals and customs ( SAPTAPADI TO BE INTERPRETED AS THE VOWS TAKEN WHILE CIRCUMAMBULATING THE SACRED FIRE ) is LEGALLY VALID whether the marriage is registered at the registrar's office or not. 

so, irrespective of registration, the law that covers hinduism defines a legally valid marriage as the one which may or may not be registered, but has custom as it's part.



Present does not make you the president of india, if in the future you become the president of india.

So, past and present may reflect in the future, but the uncertain future cannot erase the past and the present.

so, whether divorce happens in the future or not, the marriage of the past is VALID.

K.K.Ganguly (Advocate)     23 November 2014

Yes. It is a valid marriage as per law.

SuperHero (Manager)     23 November 2014

Union of Hearts....If the Persons has Heart...

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     24 November 2014

It is a marriage properly solemnised as per Hindu religious customs hence it is very much valid even not being registered.   The question about non-consummation of marriage will be raised before the court within one year from the date of marriage to annul the marriage by a decree of nullity,now since the it is more than one and half year, there are no chances o f nullity but divorce on the grounds of non-consummation as well as non cohabitation can be filed.

Adv. Chandrasekhar (Advocate)     25 November 2014

I had the opportunity to go through your other post also.  If I collate the contents in both the posts and assume that you want to annul the marriage, then contact your local acumen advocate and the above facts can be used by him to get you out of the hook of this socalled marriage by putting the facts in proper perspective before the court.

aastha (self)     04 December 2014

Ur marriage is a valid marriage.. Registration of marriage is an option and s not mandatory.. Though it may be at a few places like Punjab.. U can check if it s compulsory in ur state. As far as ur concern about the saptpadi s concerned.. It is not compulsory for all Hindus.. Even the Sikhs who are

aastha (self)     04 December 2014

Ur marriage is a valid marriage as per the Hindu marriage act. The act does not make it mandatory for a person to get the marriage registered though it s better to do so... N it s mandatory n some states lk Punjab. As far as the saptpadi is concerned the act leaves immense space for other rituals. Saptpadi s just one f them.. Even Sikh ppl don't take those seven steps but that doesn't regard there marriage as invalid or irregular. Also you have proof of ur pics!!

aastha (self)     04 December 2014

Also to add if u read section 7 (2) it states that "where" the rituals include saptpadi.. Hence it is nly an example!!! Section 7(1) clearly mentions rituals if particular ppl

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