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Marriage when age of bridegroom is below 21 years

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I want to solemnise marriage but age of bridegroom is below 21 years. We are in a relationship for past 4 years. And we decide to get married. But the girl’s family doesn’t allow her to do so. They First emotionally black mailed her. But she doesn’t listen to them. And the next day she tried to escape with me and get married. But their parents make us fake promises that please come, we will do your marriage, please come soon. And the girl trusted her parents and went back home with me.

They told us to call your parents too. We will have a conversation with them about how to do this. And that they told us that they will solemnise our marriage after diwali. For my happiness my parents accept our relationship. But the girl’s father cheated the next day. He called me and my father to do a talk and then some relatives shouted at us to go back home.

We will not do marriage in another caste, and when the girl argues they start beating her with a belt.. Now they have locked her in a room and taken her cell phone also. My Name is XXX I ‘m 20 years old, and I’m a defence personnel. Her name is XXX, She is 21 years old. She is a “Baniya”. Please Help. What are the things I can do ? What are my rights?

Question from: New Delhi

Bridegroom’s age is below 21 years

You are incompetent to solemnise marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act. According to Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act the bridegroom must attain the age of twenty one years at the time of marriage. Currently your age is twenty years therefore, you cannot solemnize marriage. 

Offence under Section 18 of the Hindu Marriage Act

If you solemnise marriage you will commit an offence under Section 18 of the Hindu Marriage Act. That offence is punishable with rigorous imprisonment which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both. However it does not render your marriage void but you will face criminal charges.

Conditions of a valid marriage

You should wait for one year then solemnise marriage according to the Hindu Marriage Act. Because you will become capable of fulfilling all the conditions of a valid Hindu Marriage.

You both are Hindus hence, you can solemnise marriage with your own consent. Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act does not forbid such a marriage which is solemnised against the consent of parents.

A marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus, if the following conditions are fulfilled, namely- 

  1. Neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage; 
  2. At the time of the marriage, neither party- a) is incapable of giving a valid consent to 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;
  3. The bridegroom has completed the age of twenty-one years and the bride, the age of eighteen years at the time of the marriage;
  4. 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; 
  5. Parties are not sapindas of each other, unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits a marriage between the two.

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