Hindu marriage is invalid without rituals: Allahabad HC

Updated: Oct 4 2023 11:34PM

Prayagraj, Oct 4 (PTI) Observing that a Hindu marriage is not valid without 'Saptapadi' ceremony and other rituals, the Allahabad High Court has quashed the proceedings of a case where a man alleged that his estranged wife had solemnised second marriage without divorcing him.  Allowing a petition filed by Smriti Singh, Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh observed, “It is well settled that the word 'solemnize' means, in connection with a marriage, to celebrate the marriage with proper ceremonies and in due form. Unless the marriage is celebrated or performed with proper ceremonies and due form, it cannot be said to be solemnized." “If the marriage is not a valid marriage, according to the law applicable to the parties, it is not a marriage in the eyes of law. The 'Saptapadi' ceremony under the Hindu Law is one of the essential ingredients to constitute a valid marriage but the said evidence is lacking in the present case," the court said in a recent order.

The court also relied on the section 7 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, which provides that a Hindu marriage may be solemnized in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of either party thereto. Secondly, such rites and ceremonies include the 'Saptapadi' (taking seven steps by groom and bride jointly around the sacred fire), which makes the marriage complete and binding when the seventh step is taken.

While quashing the summoning order dated April 21, 2022 and further proceedings of complaint case pending before a Mirzapur court against the wife, the petitioner, the court said, “Even there is no averment with regard to 'Saptapadi' in the complaint as well as in the statements before the court, hence, this court is of the view that no prima-facie offence is made out against the applicant as the allegation of second marriage is a bald allegation without corroborative materials”.