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Hindu marriages not valid unless performed with ‘7 pheras’, ‘agni’ : SC

Supreme Court emphasised that Hindu Marriage is a sacred institution and should not be trivialized as a mere social event for "song and dance" and "wining and dining"

Written by  Shefali Kohli -- May 02nd 2024 03:59 PM
Hindu marriages not valid unless performed with ‘7 pheras’, ‘agni’ : SC

Hindu marriages not valid unless performed with ‘7 pheras’, ‘agni’ : SC

Supreme Court on Hindu Marriage Act: The Hindu Marriage Act, enacted in 1955, is a significant legislation governing Hindu marriages in India. It aims to codify the laws relating to marriage among Hindus and applies to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists. 

In a recent verdict, the Supreme Court provided clarity on the legal prerequisites and significance of Hindu marriages as outlined in the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. 


The Supreme Court said that Hindu marriage cannot be recognised valid in the absence of important ceremonies like saptapadi, the seven steps taken by a couple around agni that represent seven promises or principles. 

The Supreme Court further emphasised that Hindu Marriage is a sacred institution and should not be trivialized as a mere social event for "song and dance" and "wining and dining". It urged young individuals to deeply consider the sanctity of marriage before committing to it. Marriage should not be approached as calling it a “samskara" and a “sacrament" which has to be accorded its status as an institution of great value in Indian society. 

This decision came after the plea by woman seeking the transfer of divorce petition from Bihar court in Muzaffarpur to a Jharkhand court in Ranchi

As the petition awaited resolution, both the woman and her former partner, both qualified commercial pilots, opted to resolve their dispute by jointly filing an application under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution.

The court further says, “unless and until the marriage is performed with appropriate ceremonies and in due form, it cannot be said to be ‘solemnised’ as per Section 7(1) of the Act". 

In the context of “saptapadi” in a Hindu marriage, court said “according to the Rig Veda, after completing the seventh step (saptapadi), the bridegroom says to his bride, “With seven steps we have become friends (sakha). May I attain friendship with thee; may I not be separated from thy friendship”.

The bench further highlighted the importance of young men and women to think deeply about the institution of marriage even before they enter upon it. The court underscored that marriage should not be viewed as an opportunity for lavish celebrations or material exchanges, including dowry and gifts under undue pressure, which could potentially lead to legal repercussions.

- With inputs from agencies

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