Marriage according to Hindus is a sacrament which continues for the lifetime, even beyond eternity. To perform a valid marriage according to the Hindu Marriage Act, the marriage should be performed as per the rites and ceremonies as mentioned in the Act and should also fulfill the underlying requirements of the Act. Any marriage which does not fulfill the legal requirements as mentioned the Act, is not considered to be a valid marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act.
Annulment of marriage means that the said marriage never existed- A marriage which is null and void/voidable. It is a declaration that ends the marriage from its inception as if it never existed in the eyes of law because of the absence of the essential legal requirements which are essential for a valid marriage. When the decree of annulment is passed by the Court, all further duties and responsibilities towards each other come to an end along with the marriage. There are various grounds for annulment of marriage.
A marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus, if the following conditions are fulfilled, namely-
Any marriage which does not fulfill the requirements as per sec 5, is not considered as a valid marriage.
Any marriage which contravenes Sec 5 clause (i), (iv) and (v) will be considered as null and void as per section 11 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
If any of the three conditions are satisfied, the marriage would automatically become void under t section 11, HMA. The decree of nullity may be passed by the court at the petition moved by either party of the marriage. Any marriage violating any of these conditions would be void ipso jure.
According to sec 12 of the Hindu Marriage Act, any marriage shall be voidable and may be annulled by a decree of nullity on any of the following grounds, namely-
In order to annul a marriage, the jurisdiction should be determined viz the place where the marriage was solemnized or where the couple last lived together as husband and wife, or where the estranged wife is residing or in the event of death or whereabout not being known where the petitioner is residing.
The completely drafted petition containing all the essential details as to the parties, facts and circumstances should be filed before the said court.
Once the court is satisfied after examining the details, evidence etc, the decree of nullity will be passed.
To conclude, a marriage can be annulled if it satisfies the conditions as mentioned above. Further, the children born out of such wedlock are considered to be legitimate and can inherit the properties of their parents. In the case of ancestral property, these children can claim their share in the property falling in the share of the parents.
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