Sunday, July 12, 2009

The prohibited degrees in a Hindu marriage

Q: What are the prohibited degrees in a Hindu marriage?

The following would come within prohibited degrees of relationship with regard to Hindus:

a. If one party to the marriage is a lineal ascendant of the other;

b. If one of the parties to the marriage is the wife or husband of a lineal ascendant or descendant;

c. Marriage between a man and his brother's wife or uncle's wife or his grandfather's or grandmothers' brother's wife;

d. Marriage between:

i. brother and sister;

ii. uncle and niece;

iii. aunt and nephew;

iv. children of brother and sister;

v. children of sisters;

vi. children of brothers.
However the Hindu Marriage Act recognizes the marriages mentioned above if the custom or usage applicable to the parties to the marriage permits such marriages. Only if their custom or usage does not permit such marriages would the parties be held to be within prohibited degrees of relationship. Custom that allows such marriages should be ancient, certain and reasonable and should not be opposed to public policy, decency or morality