THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955
(Act 25 of 1955)[18th May, 1955]
An Act to amend and codify the law relating to marriage among Hindus.
Preliminary
1. Short title and extent.-(1) This Act may be called the Hindu Marriage Act,
1955.
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and
applies also to Hindus domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who are
outside the said territories.
2. Application of Act.- (1) This Act applies,-
(a) to any person who is a Hindu by religion in any of of its forms or developments,
including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya
Samaj;
(b) to any person who is a Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion, and
(c) to any other person domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who is
not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion, unless it is proved that any such
person would not have been governed by the Hindu law or by any custom or usage
as part of that law in respect of any of the matters dealt with herein if this Act had
not been passed.
Explanation.- The following persons are Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs by
religion, as the case may be,-
(a) any child, legitimate or illegitimate, both of whose parents are Hindus,
Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs by religion;
(b) any child, legitimate or illegitimate, one of whose parents is a Hindu, Buddhist
Jaina or Sikh by religion and who is brought up as a member of tribe, community,
group or family to which such parents belongs or belonged; and
(c) any person who is a convert or re-convert to the Hindus, Buddhist, Jaina or
Sikh religion.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1),nothing contained in this
Act shall apply to the members of any Scheduled Tribe within the meaning of
clause (25) of Article 366 of the Constitution unless the Central Government, by
notification in the Official Gazette, otherwise directs.
(3) The expression “Hindus” in any portion of this Act shall be construed as if it
included a person who, though not a Hindu by religion is, nevertheless, a person
whom this Act applies by virtue of the provisions contained in this section.
3. Definitions.- In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-
(a) the expression “custom” and “usage” signify any rule which, having been
continuously and uniformally observed for a long time, has obtained the force of
law among Hindus in any local area, tribe, community, group or family:
Provided that the rule is certain and not unreasonable or opposed to public policy;
and
Provided further that in the case of a rule applicable only to a family it has not
been discontinued by the family;
(b)”District Court” means, in any area for which there is a City Civil Court, that
Court, and in any other area the principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction, and
includes any other civil court which may be specified by the State Government, by
notification in the Official Gazette, as having jurisdiction in respect of matters dealt
with in this Act;
(c)”full blood”and “half blood”- two persons are said to be related to each other by
full blood when they are descended from a common ancestor by the same wife and
by half blood when they are descended from a common ancestor but by different
wives;
(d)”uterine blood” – two persons are said to be related to each other by uterine
blood when they are descended from a common ancestor but by different
husbands.
Explanation.- In Clauses (c) and (d) “ancestor” includes the father and “ancestress”
the mother;
(e)”prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(f)(i)”Sapinda relationship” with reference to any person extends as far as the third
generation(inclusive) in the line of ascent through the mother, and the fifth
(inclusive) in the line of ascent through the father, the line being traced upwards in
each case from the person concerned, who is to be counted as the first generation;
(ii) two persons are said to be “sapinda” of each other if one is a lineal ascendant
of the other within the limits of sapinda relationship, or if they have a common
lineal ascendant who is within the limits of sapinda relationship with reference to
each of them;
(g)”degrees of prohibited relationship ” – two persons are said to be within the
“degrees of prohibited relationship”-
(I) if one is a lineal ascendant of the other; or
(ii) if one was the wife or husband of a lineal ascendant or descendant of the other;
or
(iii)if one was the wife of the brother or of the father’s or mother’s brother or of the
grandfather’s or grandmother’s brother or the other; or
(iv)if the two are brother and sister, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, or children
of brother and sister or of two brothers or of two sisters.
Explanation.- for the purposes of clauses (f) and (g) relationship includes-
(I) relationship by half or uterine blood as well as by full blood;
(ii) illegitimate blood relationship as well as legitimate;
(iii) relationship by adoption as well as by blood; and all terms of relationship in
those clauses shall be construed accordingly.
4. Overriding effect of Act.- Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act.-
(a) any text,rule or interpretation of Hindu Law or any custom or usage as part of
that law in force immediately before the commencement of this Act shall cease to
have effect with respect to any matter for which provision is made in this Act;
(b) any other law in force immediately before the commencement of this Act shall
cease to have effect in so far as it is inconsistent with any of the provisions
contained in this Act.
Hindu Marriages
5. Condition for a Hindu Marriage.- A marriage may be solemnized between any
two Hindus, if the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:
(i) neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage;
(ii) at the time of the marriage, neither party,-
(a) is incapable of giving a valid consent of it in consequence of unsoundness of
mind; or
(b) though capable of giving a valid consent has been suffering from mental
disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the
procreation of children; or
(c) has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy;
(iii) the bridegroom has completed the age of twenty one years and the bride the
age of eighteen years at the time of the marriage;
(iv) the parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship unless the
custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two;
(v) the parties are not sapindas of each other, unless the custom or usage
governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two;
(vi) (Omitted)
6. Guardianship in Marriage.- (Omitted by Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act,
1976.
7. Ceremonies for a Hindu marriage.-(1) A Hindu marriage may be solemnized
in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of either party thereto.
(2) Where such rites and ceremonies include the saptapadi (that is, the taking of
seven steps by the bridegroom and the bride jointly before the sacred fire), the
marriage becomes complete and binding when the seventh step is taken.
8. Registration of Hindu Marriages.-(1) For the purpose of facilitating the proof
of Hindu marriages, the State Government may make rules providing that the
parties to any such marriage may have the particulars relating to their marriage
entered in such manner and subject to such condition as may be prescribed in a
Hindu Marriage Register kept for the purpose.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the State Government
may, if it is of opinion that it is necessary or expedient so to do, provide that the
entering of the particulars referred to in sub-section (1) shall be compulsory in the
State or in any part thereof, whether in all cases or in such cases as may be
specified and where any such direction has been issued, and person contravening
any rule made in this behalf shall be punishable with fine which may extend to
twenty-five rupees.
(3) All rules made under this section shall be laid before the State Legislature, as
soon as may be, after they are made.
(4) The Hindu Marriage Register shall at all reasonable times be open for
inspection, and shall be admissible as evidence of the statements therein contained
and certified extracts therefrom shall, on application, be given by the Registrar on
payment to him of the prescribed fee.
(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, the validity of any Hindu
marriage shall in no way be affected by the omission to make the entry.
Restitution of Conjugal rights and judicial separation
9. Restitution of conjugal rights.- When either the husband or the wife has,
without reasonable excuse, withdrawn from the society of the other, the aggrieved
party may apply, by petition to the district court, for restitution of conjugal rights
and the court, on being satisfied of the truth of the statements made in such
petition and that there is no legal ground why the application should not be
granted, may decree restitution of conjugal rights accordingly.
Explanation- Where a question arises whether there has been reasonable excuse
for withdrawal from the society, the burden of proving reasonable excuse shall be
on the person who has withdrawn from the society.
10. Judicial separation.- (1) Either party to a marriage, whether solemnized
before or after the commencement of this Act, may present a petition praying for a
decree for judicial separation on any of the grounds specified in sub-section (1) of
Section 13, and in the case of a wife also on any of the grounds might have been
presented.
(2) Where a decree for judicial separation has been passed, it shall no longer be
obligatory for the petitioner to cohabit with the respondent, but the court may, on
the application by petition of either party and on being satisfied of the truth of the
statement made in such petition, rescind the decree if it considers it just and
reasonable to do so.
Nullity of Marriage and Divorce
11. Nullity of marriage and divorce- Void marriages.- Any marriage
solemnized after the commencement of this Act shall be null and void and may, on
a petition presented by either party thereto, against the other party be so declared
by a decree of nullity if it contravenes any one of the conditions specified in clauses
(i), (iv) and (v), Section 5.
12. Voidable Marriages.-(1) Any marriage solemnized, whether before or after
the commencement of this Act, shall be voidable and may be annulled by a decree
of nullity on any of the following grounds, namely:-
(a) that the marriage has not been consummated owing to the impotency of the
respondent; or
(b) that the marriage is in contravention of the condition specified in clause (ii) of
Section 5; or
(c) that the consent of the petitioner, or where the consent of the guardian in
marriage of the petitioner was required under Section 5 as it stood immediately
before the commencement of the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Act, 1978,
the consent of such guardian was obtained by force or by fraud as to the nature of
the ceremony or as to any material fact or circumstance concerning the
respondent; or
(d) that the respondent was at the time of the marriage pregnant by some person
other than the petitioner.
2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), no petition for annulling
a marriage(
a) on the ground specified in clause (c) of sub-section (1) shall be entertained if-
(i) the petition is presented more than one year after the force had ceased to
operate or, as the case may be, the fraud had been discovered ; or
(ii) the petitioner has, with his or her full consent, lived with the other party to the
marriage as husband or wife after the force had ceased to operate or, as the case
may be, the fraud had been discovered;
(b) on the ground specified in clause (d) of sub-section (1) shall be entertained
unless the court is satisfied-
(i) that the petitioner was at the time of the marriage ignorant of the facts alleged;
(ii) that proceedings have been instituted in the case of a marriage solemnized
before the commencement of this Act within one year of such commencement and
in the case of marriages solemnized after such commencement within one year
from the date of the marriage; and
(iii) that marital intercourse with the consent of the petitioner has not taken place
since the discovery by the petitioner of the existence of the said ground.
13. Divorce- (1) Any marriage solemnized, whether before or after the
commencement of the Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or
the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party-
(i) has, after the solemnization of the marriage had voluntary sexual intercourse
with any person other than his or her spouse; or
(ia) has, after the solemnization of the marriage, treated the petitioner with
cruelty; or
(ib) has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years
immediately preceding the presentation of the petition; or
(ii) has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion ; or
(iii) has been incurably of unsound mind, or has suffering continuously or
intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent that the
petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.
Explanation- In this clause-
(a) the expression “mental disorder” means mental illness, arrested or incomplete
development of mind, psychopathic disorder or any other disorder or disability of
mind and include schizophrenia;
(b) the expression “psychopathic disorder” means a persistent disorder or disability
of mind (whether or not including sub-normality of intelligence) which results in
abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the other
party and whether or not it requires or is susceptible to medical treatment; or
(iv) has been suffering from a virulent and incurable form of leprosy; or
(v) has been suffering from veneral disease in a communicable form; or
(vi) has renounced the world by entering any religious order; or
(vii) has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more by
those persons who would naturally have heard of it, had that party been alive;
Explanation.- In this sub-section, the expression “desertion” means the desertion
of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage without reasonable cause and
without the consent or against the wish of such party, and includes the willful
neglect of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage, and its grammatical
variations and cognate expression shall be construed accordingly.
(1-A) Either party to a marriage, whether solemnized before or after the
commencement of this Act, may also present a petition for the dissolution of the
marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground-
(i) that there has been no resumption of cohabitation as between the parties to the
marriage for a period of one year or upwards after the passing of a decree for
judicial separation in a proceeding to which they were parties; or
(ii) that there has been no restitution of conjugal rights as between the parties to
the marriage for a period of one year or upward after the passing of a decree of
restitution of conjugal rights in a proceeding to which they were parties.
(2) A wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of her marriage by a
decree of divorce on the ground-
(i) in the case of any marriage solemnized before the commencement of this Act,
that the husband had married again before the commencement or that any other
wife of the husband married before such commencement was alive at the time of
the solemnization of the marriage of the petitioner:
Provided that in either case the other wife is alive at the time of the presentation of
the petition;
(ii) that the husband has, since the solemnization of the marriage, been guilty of
rape, sodomy or bestiality; or
(iii) that in a suit under Section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act,
(78 of 1956), or in a proceeding under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973, (Act 2 of 1974) or under corresponding Section 488 of the Code
of Criminal Procedure, (5 of 1898), a decree or order, as the case may be, has
been passed against the husband awarding maintenance to the wife
notwithstanding that she was living apart and that since the passing of such decree
or order, cohabitation between the parties has not been resumed for one year or
upwards;or
(iv) that her marriage (whether consummated or not) was solemnized before she
attained the age of fifteen years and she has repudiated the marriage after
attaining that age but before attaining the age of eighteen years.
Explanation.- This clause applies whether the marriage was solemnized before or
after the commencement of the Marriage Law (Amendment) Act, 1976.
13-A. Alternate Relief in Divorce Proceedings.- If any proceeding under this
Act, on a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce, except in so
far as the petition is founded on the grounds mentioned in clauses (ii), (vi) and
(vii) of sub-section (1) of Section 13, the court may, if it considers it just so to do
having regard to the circumstances of the case, pass instead a decree for judicial
separation.
13-B. Divorce by mutual consent.-(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act a
petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce may be presented to the
District Court by both the parties to a marriage together, whether such marriage
was solemnized before or after the commencement of the Marriage Laws
(Amendment) Act, 1976, on the ground that they have been living separately for a
period of one year or more, that they have not been able to live together and that
they have mutually agreed that the marriage should be dissolved.
(2) On the motion of both the parties made earlier than six months after the date
of the presentation of the petition referred to in sub-section (1) and not later than
eighteen months after the said date, if the petition is not withdrawn in the mean
time, the Court shall, on being satisfied, after hearing the parties and after making
such inquiry as it thinks fit, that a marriage has been solemnized and that the
averments in the petition are true, pass a decree of divorce declaring the marriage
to be dissolved with effect from the date of the decree.
14. No petition for divorce to be presented within one year of marriage.-
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, it shall not be competent for
any Court to entertain any petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of
divorce, unless at the date of the presentation of the petition one year has elapsed
since the date of the marriage:
Provided that the court may, upon application made to it in accordance with such
rules as may be made by the High Court in that behalf, allow a petition to be
presented before one year has elapsed since the date of the marriage on the
ground that the case is one of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or of
exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent, but, if it appears to the court
at the hearing of the petition that petitioner obtained leave to present the petition
by any mis-representation or concealment of the nature of the case, the court may,
if it pronounces a decree, do so subject to the condition that the decree shall not
have effect until after the expiry of one year from the date of the marriage or may
dismiss the petition without prejudice to any petition which may be brought after
the expiration of the said one year upon the same or substantially the same facts
as those alleged in support of the petition so dismissed.
(2) In disposing of any application under this section for leave to present a petition
for divorce before the expiration of one year from the date of the marriage, the
court shall have regard to the interests of any children of the marriage and to the
question whether there is a reasonable probability of a reconciliation between the
parties before the expiration of the said one year.
15. Divorced persons. When may marry again.- When a marriage has been
dissolved by a decree of divorce and either there is no right of appeal against the
decree or, if there is such a right of appeal, the time for appealing has expired
without an appeal having been presented, or an appeal has been presented but has
been dismissed, it shall be lawful for either party to the marriage to marry again.
16. Legitimacy of children of void and voidable marriages.-
(1) Notwithstanding that a marriage is null and void under Section 11, any child of
such marriage who would have been legitimate if the marriage had been valid,
shall be legitimate, whether such a child is born before or after the commencement
of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976, and whether or not a decree of
nullity is granted in respect of the marriage under this Act and whether or not the
marriage is held to be void otherwise than on a petition under this Act.
(2) Where a decree of nullity is granted in respect of a voidable marriage under
Section 12, any child begotten or conceived before the decree is made, who would
have been the legitimate child of the parties to the marriage if at the date of the
decree it had been dissolved instead of being annulled, shall be deemed to be their
legitimate child notwithstanding the decree of nullity.
(3) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be construed as
conferring upon any child of a marriage which is null and void or which is annulled
by a decree of nullity under Section 12, any rights in or to the property of any
person, other than the parents, in any case, where, but for the passing of this Act,
such child would have been incapable of possessing or acquiring any such rights by
reason of his not being the legitimate child of his parents.
17. Punishment of Bigamy.- Any marriage between two Hindus solemnized after
the commencement of this Act is void if at the date of such marriage either party
had a husband or wife living; and the provisions of Sections 494 and 495 of the
Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) shall apply accordingly.
18. Punishment for contravention of certain other conditions for a Hindu
marriage.- Every person who procures a marriage of himself or herself or to be
solemnized under this Act in contravention of the conditions specified in clauses
(iii), (iv), and (v) of Section 5 shall be punishable-
(a) in the case of a contravention of the condition specified in clause (iii) of Section
5, with simple imprisonment which may extend to fifteen days, or with fine which
may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both;
(b) in the case of a contravention of the condition specified in clause (iv) or clause
(v) of Section 5, with simple imprisonment which may extend to one month, or
with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both;
(c) Clause (c) omitted by Act 2 of 1978.
Jurisdiction and Procedure
19. Court to which petition shall be presented-
Every petition under this Act shall be presented to the District Court within the local
limits of whose ordinary original civil jurisdiction:
(i) the marriage was solemnized, or
(ii) the respondent, at the time of the presentation of the petition, resides, or
(iii) the parties to the marriage last resided together, or
(iv) the petitioner is residing at the time of the presentation of the petition, in a
case where the respondent is at that time, residing outside the territories to which
this Act extends, or has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven
years or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of him if he were
alive.
20. Contents and verification of Petitions.-(1) Every petition presented under
this Act shall state as distinctly as the nature of the case permits the facts on which
the claims to relief is founded and, except in a petition under Section 11, shall also
state that there is no collusion between the petitioner and the other party to the
marriage.
(2) The statements contained in every petition under this Act shall be verified by
the petitioner or some other competent person in the manner required by law for
the verification of plaints, and may, at the hearing, be referred to as evidence.
21. Application of Act 5 of 1908.- Subject to the other provisions contained in
this Act and to such rules as the High Court may make in this behalf all
proceedings under this Act shall be regulated, as far as may be, by the Code of
Civil Procedure, 1908.
21-A. Power to transfer petitions in certain cases.-(1)Where-
(a) a petition under this Act has been presented to a District Court having
jurisdiction by a party to marriage praying for a decree for a judicial separation
under Section 10 or of a decree of divorce under Section 13; and
(b) another petition under this Act has been presented thereafter by the other
party to the marriage praying for a decree for judicial separation under Section 10
or for a decree of divorce under Section 13 on any ground, whether in the same
District Court or in a different District Court, in the same State or in a different
State,
the petitions shall be dealt with as specified in sub-section (2).
(2) In a case where sub-section (1) applies,-
(a) if the petitions are presented to the same District Court, both the petitions shall
be tried and heard together by that District Court;
(b) if the petition are presented to different District Courts, the petition presented
later shall be transferred to the District Court in which the earlier petition was
presented and both the petitions shall be heard and disposed of together by the
district court in which the earlier petition was presented.
(3) In a case where clause (b) of sub-section (2) applies, the court or the
Government, as the case may be, competent under the Code of Civil Procedure, 5
of 1908 to transfer any suit or proceeding from this District Court in which the later
petition has been presented to the district court in which the earlier petition is
pending, shall exercise its powers to transfer such later petition as if it had been
empowered so to do under the said Code.
21-B. Special provision relating to trial and disposal of petitions under the
Act.-(1) The trial of a petition under this Act, shall, so far as is practicable
consistently with the interests of justice in respect of the trial, be continued from
day to day until its conclusion unless the Court finds the adjournment of the trial
beyond the following day to be necessary for reasons to be recorded.
(2) Every petition under this Act shall be tried as expeditiously as possible, and
endeavour shall be made to conclude the trial within six months from the date of
service of notice of the petition on the respondent.
(3) Every appeal under this Act shall be heard as expeditiously as possible, and
endeavour shall be made to conclude the hearing within three months from the
date of service of notice of appeal on the respondent.
21.-C. Documentary evidence.- Notwithstanding anything in any enactment to
the contrary, no document shall be inadmissible in evidence in any proceeding at
the trial of a petition under this Act on the ground that it is not duly stamped or
registered.
22. Proceedings to be in camera and may not be printed or published.-(1)
Every proceedings under this Act shall be conducted in camera and it shall not be
lawful for any person to print or publish any matter in relation to any such
proceeding except a judgment of the High Court or of the Supreme Court printed or
published with the previous permission of the Court.
(2) If any person prints or publishes any matter in contravention of the provisions
contained in sub-section (1), he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to
one thousand rupees.
23. Decree in proceedings.-(1) In any proceeding under this Act, whether
defended or not, if the Court is satisfied that-
(a) any of the grounds for granting relief exists and the petitioner except in cases
where the relief is sought by him on the grounds specified in sub-clause (a), subclause
(b) and sub-clause (c) of clause (ii) of Section 5 is not any way taking
advantage of his or her own wrong or disability for the purpose of such relief, and
(b) where the ground of the petition is the ground specified in clause (i) of subsection
(1) of Section 13, the petitioner has not in any manner been accessory to
or connived at or condoned the act or acts complained of, or where the ground or
the petition is cruelty the petitioner has not in any manner condoned the cruelty,
and
(bb) when a divorce is sought on the ground of mutual consent, such consent has
not been obtained by force, fraud or undue influence, and
(c) the petition not being a petition presented under section 11 is not presented or
prosecuted in collusion with the respondent, and
(d) there has not been any unnecessary or improper delay in instituting the
proceeding, and
(e) there is no other legal ground why relief should not be granted, then,and in
such a case, but not otherwise, the court shall decree such relief accordingly.
(2) Before proceeding to grant any relief under this Act, it shall be the duty of the
Court in the first instance, in every case where it is possible so to do consistently
with the nature and circumstances of the case, to make every endeavour to bring
about a reconciliation between the parties:
Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall apply to any proceeding
wherein relief is sought on any of the grounds specified in clause (ii), clause (iii),
clause (iv), clause (v), clause (vi) or clause (vii), of sub-section (1) of Section 13.
(3) For the purpose of aiding the Court in bringing about such reconciliation, the
court may, if the parties so desire or if the Court thinks it just and proper so to do
adjourn the proceedings for a reasonable period not exceeding fifteen days and
refer the matter to any person named by the parties in this behalf or to any person
nominated by the Court if the parties fail to name any person, with directions to
report to the Court as to whether reconciliation can be and has been effected and
the court shall in disposing of the proceeding have due regard to the report.
(4) In every case where a marriage is dissolved by a decree of divorce, the court
passing the decree shall give a copy thereof free of cost to each of the parties.
23-A. Relief for respondent in divorce and other proceedings.- In any
proceedings for divorce or judicial separation or restitution of conjugal rights, the
respondent may not only oppose the relief sought on the ground of petitioner’s
adultery, cruelty or desertion, but also make a counter-claim for any relief under
this Act on that ground; and if the petitioner’s adultery, cruelty or desertion is
proved, the Court may give to the respondent any relief under this Act to which he
or she would have been entitled if he or she had presented a petition seeking such
relief on that ground.
24. Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings.-
Where in any proceeding under this Act it appears to the Court that either the wife
or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income sufficient for her
or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding, it may, on the
application of the wife or the husband, order the respondent to pay the petitioner
the expenses of the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioner’s own
income and the income of the respondent, it may seem to the Court to be
reasonable.
25. Permanent alimony and maintenance.-(1) Any court exercising jurisdiction
under this Act may, at the time of passing any decree or at any time subsequent
thereto, on application made to it for the purposes by either the wife or the
husband, as the case may be, order that the respondent shall pay to the applicant
for her or his maintenance and support such gross sum or such monthly or
periodical sum for a term not exceeding the life of the applicant as, having regard
to the respondent’s own income and other property of the applicant, the conduct of
the parties and other circumstances of the case, it may seem to the Court to be
just, and any such payment may be secured, if necessary, by a charge on the
immoveable property of the respondent.
(2) If the Court is satisfied that there is a change in the circumstances of either
party at any time after it has made an order under sub-section (1), it may at the
instance of either party, vary, modify or rescind any such order in such manner as
the court may deem just.
(3) If the Court is satisfied that the party in whose favour an order has been made
under this Section has re-married or, if such party is the wife, that she has not
remained chaste or if such party is the husband, that he has had sexual intercourse
with any woman outside wedlock, it may at the instance of the other party vary,
modify or rescind any such order in such manner as the court may deem just.
26. Custody of children.- In any proceeding under this Act, the Court may, from
time to time, pass such interim orders and make such provisions in the decree as it
may deem just and proper with respect to the custody, maintenance and education
of minor children, consistently with their wishes, wherever possible, and may, after
the decree, upon application by petition for the purpose, make from time to time,
all such orders and provisions with respect to the custody, maintenance and
education of such children as might have been made by such decree or interim
orders in case the proceedings for obtaining such decree were still pending, and
the Court may also from time to time revoke, suspend or vary any such orders and
provisions previously made.
27. Disposal of property.-In any proceeding under this Act, the Court may make
such provisions in the decree as it deems just and proper with respect to any
property presented at or about the time of marriage, which may belong jointly to
both the husband and the wife.
28. Appeals from decrees and orders.-(1) All decrees made by Court in any
proceeding under this Act shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), be
appealable as decrees of the Court made in the exercise of its original civil
jurisdiction and every such appeal shall lie to the Court to which appeals ordinarily
lie from the decisions of the Court given in the exercise of its original civil
jurisdiction.
(2) Orders made by the Court in any proceedings under this Act, under Section 25
or Section 26 shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), be appealable if
they are not interim orders and every such appeal shall lie to the Court to which
appeals ordinarily lie from the decisions of the Court given in exercise of its original
civil jurisdiction.
(3) There shall be no appeal under this section on subject of costs only.
(4) Every appeal under this section shall be preferred within a period of thirty days
from the date of the decree or order.
28(A) Enforcement of decrees and orders.- All decrees and orders made by
the Court in any proceeding under this Act, shall be enforced in the like manner as
the decrees and orders of the Court made in the exercise of its original civil
jurisdiction for the time being enforced.
29. Savings.-(1) A marriage solemnized between Hindus before the
commencement of this Act, which is otherwise valid, shall not be deemed to be
invalid or ever to have been invalid by reason only of the fact that the parties
thereto belonged to the same gotra or pravara or belonged to different religion,
castes or sub-divisions of the same caste.
(2) Nothing contained in this Act shall be deemed to affect any right recognised by
custom or conferred by any special enactment to obtain the dissolution of a Hindu
Marriage, whether solemnized before or after the commencement of this Act.
(3) Nothing contained in this Act shall affect any proceeding under any law for the
time being in force for declaring any marriage to be null and void or for annulling
or dissolving any marriage or for judicial, separation pending at the
commencement of this Act, and any such proceeding may be continued and
determined as if this Act had not been passed.
(4) Nothing contained in this Act shall be deemed to effect the provisions contained
in the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (43 of 1954), with respect to marriages between
Hindus solemnized under that Act, whether before or after the commencement of
this Act.
30. Repeals.- (Repealed by the Repealing and Amendment Act, 1960 (58 of
1960), Sec. 2 and the First Schedule.)