One Night Stand cannot be considered as Marriage under Hindu Law

  • The Bombay High Court, in an important ruling, held that a physical relationship between a man and woman by choice or by chance or by accident cannot be termed as “marriage” under Hindu Laws.

    It was also held by this Court that a baby born out of this relationship will have no rights over the father’s property if no marriage can be proved in the court.

    Justice Mridula Bhatkar said that “Broadly either customary solemnisation of marriage is required or performance of legal formality is a condition precedent to label that matter relationship as a marriage. Any sexual intercourse that took place by choice or chance or by accident is not considered as marriage.”

    The court does take a note of that our society is going through a sea change as to how marriage is seen in today’s scenario and as defined under Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act. It held that “In some countries, homosexual unions are  accepted as marriages, so also live-in relationships and children born within such relationships have posed as complicated issues and a challenge to legal thinkers to define the term of marriage, whether in wider or narrow meaning.”

    The rights of a child are determined only on the basis of the institution of marriage even though it has been subsequently held void. In a leading case, the man had married twice. As per Hindu Laws, his second marriage was void as he has not divorced the first one. Though in the instant case the second marriage was considered void but the daughter from his second wife had legitimate rights in the share of his property. 

    Visit the Indian Kanoon section of LawRato to learn more on Indian Laws.

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