Marriage with cross cousin



Me and my first cousin are in love with each other and we wish to marry. She is the daugher of my mother's younger brother. We are Hindu (Bengali) and both of us are adults. I am financially stable and perfectly capable of taking care of her and our family thereof (should this matter). I have the following questions:


1) Is this marriage allowed under Hindu Marriage Act or any other special act applicable to Hindus?


2) We belong to West Bengal; but I am not sure whether there is a local or community tradition supporting such marriages (from the legal perspective). I have seen some cases of such marriage but I am not sure whether they enjoy a valid legal status. Kindly cite any past judgements which have favoures such marriages in the community (W.B).


3) Does the state (within India) where we intend to marry have any legal bearing on the marrriage. Or to put it differently, does the interpretation of the act differ in one state and the other?. If so, are which Indian state offers the most legal protection for such couples?


4) Is it possible to get married in Arya Samaj Mandir under Arya Samaj Hindu rites and then get the marriage registered by the Marriage officer/Registrar of the particular state so as to get a Marriage certificate issued. Will such a certificate be valid in the court of law inspite of the consanguinity in marriage?

5) Lastly, in case such a marriage cannot be made valid under any Hindu Act / Civil Act, what are the legal chanllenges for the future generation (succession, etc). Can any individual ( say, our family members) forcibily separate us in connivance with the authorities? Can we go to court and get legal protection considering that we are willing adults and perfectly capable of taking decisions regarding our life?


You would appreciate that this is very critical for both of us. We would still be ready to be ostracized by our families or society, so as our act is legal and would not cause any hardships to the future generation.


Note that I would be separtely looking at the medical challenges and undergo a pre-marriage genetic counselling (there are reports that the genetic risk is overrated).


Thanks, in advance.



Both of you re adults, go ahead and get married. Why should customs etc be a stumbling block to your Love?

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practicing advocate

Mother's younger brother's daughter No Problem, being a major what is the necessary of thinking.

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Advocate, Chennai

Your case does not fall under PROHIBITIVE relationship. So no problem legally!


Thanks guys. Don't want all the thinking for later. It's my responsibility to let her know the consequences of our act. Nothing should come as a suprise later on...b4 we take a leap of faith...thnx 4 the support...

That is why if somebody could attempt to answer the queries, I would be highly obliged....

Senior Partner

@ Author

Kindly read my reply given in and probably take a printout of the ancient charts mentioned in the above reply for re-assurance.

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What I could understand from the diagrams that our relationship is Sapinda.

Even though I believe that the modern definintion is third generation(inclusive) in the line of ascent through the mother, and the fifth (inclusive) in the line of ascent through the father, it does not make a difference as she is my first cousin.

My question still stands.....


your marriage is valid till both of you agree.


Dear Sam,

If you both love each other and of majority age, there is no problem. To clinch the issue to your satisfaction, here is a decision of the Bombay High Court. In a recent decision [WP(Crl) 977/2010] the Bombay High Court declined to agree with the prayer of a husband directing that the parents of her wife be directed to give the custody of the wife to her. The High Court noting that the marriage being first cousins, who were Hindus, was illegal and thus the Court could not give such direction. The High Court, however expressed no opinion on the arrangement entered into between the two being of the view that they both were majors and thus free to take their decisions.


The High Court inter alia observed as under;

2. Counsel appearing for the petitioner, however, submits that the Court should issue further direction to the respondents to hand over the custody of Harmandeep Kaur to the petitioner. Inthe facts of the present case, we do not think it proper to consider this prayer. That is so, because, it is the case of the petitioner that he has entered into marriage with Harmandeep Kaur on 21st January, 2009 knowing fully well that the said Harmandeep Kaur is his first cousin. In view of Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, the marriage between the petitioner and Harmandeep Kaur Kuldeep Singh cannot be treated as valid. It is void on account of clause (v) of Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. If the request of the petitioner was to be considered, it would be putting seal of approval of the Court on the arrangement arrived at between the petitioner and the said Harmandeep Kaur. At the same time, we may observe that said Harmandeep Kaur is admittedly major. She is free to take her own decision, if she so desires. That decision could be in consultation with her parents and relatives. We express no opinion with regard to that. In our opinion, no further order is warranted in this petition. Petition is disposed of. 

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Eye Specialist

If  you   both  are  interested.......Go   Ahead  &   Live   a  Happy  Life.

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