Hindu Marriage Act, 2017
What is the Act About?
Hindu Marriage Act is established under parliamentary Act No, VII of 20I7. This Act acts as a breakthrough document that allows the regulation of marriages of one of the largest minorities in Pakistan, Also it protects and empowers Hindu women, as the process of marriage registration highlights them as much as it highlights men and allows for Hindu women to keep marriage records in their possession too.
Condition for Hindu Marriages
A Hindu marriage shall be formalized, if the following conditions are fulfilled, namely
- At the time of marriage, the parties are of sound mind and capable of giving a valid agreement.
- Both the parties are not below the age of eighteen (18) years.
- The parties to the marriage are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship.
- Neither parry has a spouse living at the time of marriage: Provided that condition in clause (d) shall not apply where a living female spouse cannot conceive a child and medically declared to be so.
Registration of Hindu Marriages
- Section 6 of the Act clarifies that the registration of the marriage must be done in accordance with the provisions of this Act and every marriage must be registered within fifteen days of solemnization of Hindu Marriage.
- The marriage register shall be open for inspection and shall be admissible as evidence of the contents contained therein or certified extracts there from shall, on application, be given by the marriage registrar on payment of such fee, as may be prescribed.
Appointment and function of Marriage registrar
- It is the responsibility of Government to appoint one marriage registrars in the territory of a district or in any other area which is convenient for Hindu Community.
- For the registration of Hindu Marriages it is necessary that the registrar must be duly authorized i.e. by Government and by local community of Hindu.
- The form of shaadiparat, the record to be preserved and maintained by the marriage registrar shall be such as may be prescribed.
- The marriage registrar is also required to make three copies of the Shaadiparat, one for the bride, other for the bridegroom, and the third for the marriage registrar to keep it as a record.
According to section 10, any Hindu marriage may be null and void if the conditions of section 4, clauses (c) and (d) stand true. Clause (c) indicates any prohibited relationship between the two parties, and clause d) talks about another spouse living at the time of marriage.
Any marriage before or after the commencement of the Act may be nullified by the court if:
- The marriage has not been consummated owing to impotence of the respondent.
- If there is breach of clause (b) of section 4 (both parties are below 18).
- Consent of the petitioner was obtained by force, coercion, or by fraud.
- The respondent was at the time of marriage pregnant by someone other than the petitioner.
Termination of Hindu marriage
Any Hindu marriage under section 12 of this Act may be terminated:
- If the petitioner has been treated with cruelty
- If the petitioner has been deserted for a period of not less than two years. ‘Desertion’ under this law means that the petitioner, either the husband or the wife, has been isolated without any reasonable cause, or without their consent, and includes willful neglect of petitioner by the other party.
- The marriage may also be terminated on the basis of either the husband or wife converting to some other religion
- Having an unsound mind (mental disorder) that would inevitably lead to the petitioner not being expected to live with the respondent.
- Has been suffering from a virulent and incurable from of leprosy.
- Has been suffering from venereal disease in a Communicable from or HIV/Aids
- Has been renounced the world by entering any religious order.
Rights of Hindu women
A wife may also present a petition for termination of her marriage on the grounds:
- If the wife finds out that the husband married again, or there is a wife still alive from the marriage before the commencement of this Act, such a marriage can by be terminated.
- That the husband has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of four years or upwards.
- That her marriage, whether consummated or not, was solemnized before she attained the age of eighteen years and she has repudiated the marriage before attaining that age.
Financial security of wife and children
If any party is respondent in petition the Court shall not pass a decree€ of termination unless the Court is satisfied that adequate provisions for the maintenance of children born out of the marriage has been made in commensuration with the financial capacity of the parties to the marriage.
Termination by mutual consent
Section 15 talks about the mutual consent of the parties to terminate a marriage. The condition for such an action is that both the parties must be living separately for more than a year, and must agree that they cannot live together; hence, the marriage should be terminated.
Separated Person may marry again
Section 16 that allows for separated people to marry again. Any party, who wishes to marry another person after the said expiration period of six months from the final decision of termination, may do so in order to live a happy and peaceful life they choose for themselves. Widows only need to complete a period of six months after their husband’s death, and then may remarry.
Legitimacy of child in void and/or voidable Hindu marriage
Notwithstanding that a Hindu marriage is null and void under section 10, any child of such marriage who would have been legitimate if the marriage had been valid, shall be legitimate, whether such child is born before or after commencement of this Act.
Punishment for contravention of certain conditions for Hindu marriage
According to section 21, any person who gets his or her marriage solemnized under this Act in violation of the conditions specified in section 4, shall be punishable by imprisonment which may extend to six months but will not be less than three months, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both imprisonment and fine.
Penalty for violating the provision of the Act
The penalty, according to section 23, is that of simple imprisonment that may extend up to three months or a fine of one thousand rupees, or both. Such punishment may be given to anyone who rejects the law, or tries to take it in their own hands.
Cognizance oF offences under the Act
Under section 24 of this Act it is stated that all offences under this Act shall be non-cognizable and non-compoundable and the same shall be triable by a Magistrate First Class on a complaint in writing by a marriage registrar.