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Prohibited relationships - Can we legally marry?

I have a question regarding the Marriage Laws in India, specifically the prohibited relationships area.

Under the Hindu Marriage Act (which also governs people of the Sikh and Jain faith), two people may NOT marry:

"if the two are brother and sister; uncle and niece; aunt and nephew or children of brother and sister of two brothers or two sisters.
It must have been noticed in some communities the marriage with the wife of the brother and mother's brother and the first cousins are solemnized, those marriages, in the absence of a custom in the community are not valid marriages."

(I'm going to put my questions in red so its easier to reply.)

Being Sikh, can you marry your mother's mama's son?
-Does the Hindu Marriage Act prohibit such a marriage?

And what if we go ahead and have a religious marriage ceremony with both our families present anyway? What would be the consequences, etc. now and later on in the future?
-Would we even be able to register the marriage and would it be even be considered valid when we list each other on legal papers (i.e. immigration, etc.)?
-Wouldn't a simple dont-ask-dont-tell approach work?

He's my mom's cousin brother from her mother's side; so he's not my real "mama" = would the "uncle and niece" prohibition even apply to us?

P.S. We're in Bombay, if that makes a difference.

Quote ref:


 3 Replies


The Hindu Marriage Act mentions the 37 instances when 2 people may not marry.

For a guy, #29 is: Sister's daughter

So a guy cannot marry his sister's daughter. Understood. But what about his cousin sister's daughter? Can he marry her then?

manjit kalra (system eng)     19 November 2010

 in some sects of sikh community where customs allow it can be done.

if both are marrying willingly no one can stop it.

there is only one rider, if in future either of the two spouses challenges it before a court of law it can be declared a void marriage unless u can show it was a custom in ur religious sub-group and  that is there are many more similar instances within ur extended family.

if u keep this thing upto u and neither of two challenges it before court no one can invalidate marriage, the result is if mia bivi raazi , kuch nahi kar sakta kaazi. not even parents of either two can invalidate marriage.

Avnish Kaur (Consultant)     19 November 2010

agree manjit ji. in some subsects of sikh and other communities it is a religious custom to marry within extended family. are there any such other instances in ur community/ extended family?

in some communities in south india a girl marries her real mama and it is legal marriage.

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