Mumbai High Court: Mere application of ‘sindoor’ & ‘mangalsutra’ fails to render a marriage legal under the Hindu Marriage Act

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In a landmark ruling a division bench of Justices BP Dharmadhikari and Swapna Joshi of the Nagpur bench of the Mumbai High Court observed that by merely applying ‘sindoor’ and ‘mangalsutra’ fails to render a marriage legal under the hindu marriage act.

An appeal was filed by the petitioner before the high court for setting aside the judgment of the Family Court, Nagpur which had allowed the petition under section 9 (Restoration of Conjugal Rights) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 of the defendant. In the present suit the marriage between the petitioner and the respondent had taken place in April, 2012 before the Lord Krishna’s idol under the ‘Gandharva system’ by applying ‘sindoor’ and ‘mangalsutra’. The respondent filed a case of ‘cheating’ and ‘rape’ against the petitioner post his engagement to another women in 2013.

The court held that “As per provisions of the hindu marriage Act, marriage must be performed as per ceremonies, rites and rituals recognised by either of the parties. Even importance is given to Satpadi in Hindu Marriage. Admittedly, no such ceremonies were performed between the parties.”  The court while setting aside the order of the trial court by terming it ‘erroneous’ observed that  marriage between the parties was not registered and not valid.

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