Summary of the Hindu Marriage Act for Judiciary Exams [App Exclusive]


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Which aspirant doesn’t like the Hindu Marriage Act? It is one of THE most scoring subjects in law examinations. This is especially true for judiciary exams. In states like Haryana and Uttarakhand, 5-7 questions are always asked from this law. This is why this article is dedicated to everyone who wants to understand and revise the Hindu Marriage Act just before the exam.

Let’s begin!

HIndu Marriage Act

Summary of the Hindu Marriage Act

The Hindu Marriage Act came into existence on 18th May, 1995. The aim of the Act is to “amend and codify the law relating to marriage among hindus.” As the name suggests, it applies only to Hindus – either born or converted.

1Short titile and extent1
2Application of the Act2
1. Customs and Usages (3a)
2. Disctrict Court (3b)
3. Full blood and Half Blood (3c)
4. Uterine Blood (3d)
5. Prescribed (3e)
6. Sapinda Relationship (3f(i))
7. Degrees of Progibited Relationship (3g)
4Overiding effect of Act4

In the preliminary part of the Hindu Marriage Act, its application and definitions are important. Initially, the definitions under the Act can be confusing. What you can do is make a chart of all the definitions and then revise it. It will help distinguish each definition that looks similar but is not.

Important sections of the Hindu Marriage Act

1Conditions for Hindu Marriage5
2Guardianship in marriage (repealed by Child Marriage Restriant (Amendment) Act, 19786
3Ceremonies for a HIndu Marriag7
4Registration of Hindu Marriage8

Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act talks about the conditions of a valid Hindu marriage under the Act. These are:

  1. No spouse living at the time of marriage.
  2. Neither party is incapable of giving valid consent to the marriage due to unsoundness of mind. Also, both parties are not suffering from mental disorders to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and procreation of children.
  3. The bridegroom and bride ages must be 21 and 18 respectively.
  4. Not within the degrees of prohibited relations unless specified by custom and usages governing each of them.

Section 7 says that the parties can solemnize the marriage with customary rites and ceremonies of either party. If such rites include satpadi (7 steps before the sacred fire) the marriage becomes complete and binding when the seventh step is taken.

These two sections are important from the Preliminary as well as the Mains point of view. It is advisable not to neglect it.

Restitution of Conjugal Rights and Judicial separation

1Restitution of Conjugal Rights9
2Judicial separation10

Section 9 and section 10 of the Hindu Marriage Act are really important. These are key topics that can’t be missed while you prepare for your exam.

Restitution of Conjugal rights consists of three essential ingredients:

  1. Withdrawal from society
  2. Either by husband or wife
  3. Without reasonable cause/excuse

If the above conditions meet then either party can file a petition to the district court for restitution of conjugal rights. And, if the court is satisfied with the truth of the statement made, it will grant the decree of conjugal rights accordingly.

Section 10 of Hindu Marriage Act talks about judicial separation. Any party to a marriage can petition for judicial separation on any ground mentioned in section 13(1). Grounds under section 13(1) are also grounds for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act. If the wife files the petition, she has additional grounds that are mentioned in section 13(2).

If the court passes the decree of judicial separation then it is no longer obligatory for the petitioner to cohabit with the respondent. But the court has the power to rescind the decree on an application by either party.

Nullity of Marriage and Divorce under Hindu Marriage Act

1Void Marriages11
2Voidable Marriages12
4Alternate relief in divorce proceedings13A
5Divorce by mutual consent13B
6No petition for divorce to be presented within one year of marriage14
7Divorced person when may marriage again15
8Legitimacy of children of void and voidable marriages16
9Punishment for bigamy17
10Punishment for contravention of certain other conditions for Hindu marriage18

In judiciary exams, long questions can come from topics like divorce, mutual consent, and void and voidable marriages. For example, in Haryana Judicial Services 2019, a long question was asked on divorce by mutual consent. That is why it is important to analyze previous years’ questions papers to understand the pattern of the examination.

Jurisdiction and Procedure under Hindu Marriage Act

1Court to which petition shall be presented19
2Contents and verification of petitions20
3Application of Act 5 of 190821
4Power to transfer petitions in certain cases21A
5Special provision relating to trial and disposal of petitions under the Act21B
6Documentary evidence21C
7Proceedings to be in camera and may not be printed or published22
8Decree in proceedings23
9Relief for respondent in divorce and other proceedings23A
10Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings24
11Permanent alimony and maintenance25
12Custody of children26
13Disposal of property27
14Appeals from decrees and orders28
15Enforcement of decrees and orders28A

Found this helpful? Click here to prepare other subjects for judiciary exams as well.

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