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Marriage Between First Cousins Illegal As Per Hindu Marriage Act

In accordance with the Punjab and Haryana High Courts, Marriage between first cousins is illegal.

The court has said that the man who seeks bail on the grounds that he will marry her once she turns 18 is also against the law as they are first cousins. 

“The submission in the present petition that as and when she (the girl) attains the age of 18 years, they will perform marriage is also per se illegal,” the judge said on Thursday while hearing the petition.

The statement comes after a 21 year old man had gone to the High Court for anticipatory bail against charges under sections 363 (kidnapping), 366A (procuration of minor girl) of the IPC at police station Khanna City-2 in Ludhiana district on August 18.

The state counsel who has opposed the bail plea of the individual said that the girl is a minor and her parents are the ones who lodged the FIR. It also stated that they are first cousins as thier fathers are real brothers.

Meanwhile the 21 year old man’s counsel requested Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan that the bail seeker is also submitting a criminal writ petition along with the girl. The writ talks about protection of life and liberty.

The Story So Far

The background of the case is that a representative of the girl has said that the girl’s parents only paid attention to thier sons and not her so she started living with her friend, that is the petitioner. On that account she feels that her parents can harass her and disturb her peace of mind

The court disposed of this petition on September 7. The state was directed to grant them protection if any threat was perceived to the man and the girl. However, the judge made it clear “that this order shall not be taken to protect the petitioners (man and the girl) from legal action for violation of law, if any, committed by them”.

The judge heard the counsel for the parties in the present petition, said, “I find that in the present petition also, the petitioner has not disclosed about the fact that he is first cousin of the girl and, therefore, the submission in the present petition that as and when she attains the age of 18 years, they will perform marriage is also per se illegal.”

The state counsel opposed the anticipatory bail plea and argued “that the girl was aged about 17 years and is a minor, therefore, her parents have got the FIR registered as the youth and the girl are the first cousins as their fathers are real brothers”.

“Hence the petitioner has concealed the fact in the petition that they fall in the prohibited ‘sapinda’ (which prohibits marriage between two individuals if they have common ancestor) under the Hindu Marriage Act and cannot perform marriage with each other,” the state counsel argued.

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“Once the petitioner and the girl are prohibited from performing marriage with each other, there is no question of their being in any live-in-relationship, which is per se immoral and not acceptable in the society, it was argued.

The counsel for the petitioner has asked for some time from the court to discuss and address arguments and the case was adjourned to January next year.

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