Sources of Hindu law
SOURCES OF HINDU LAW
1)Ancient Sources :
a) Sruti : Manu has defined Sruti as follows– “By Sruti or what was
heard from above (from God) is meant the Veda”. Sruti or Veda are
believed to contain the very words of Deity (God). They are
supposed to be the divine utterances to be found in the four Vedas,
the six vedangas and the eighteen Upanishads.
b) Smriti : They are utterances and precepts of the Almighty, which
have been heard and remembered and handed down by the Rishis
(sages) from generation to generation. The smrities are divided into
Primary and Secondary Smrities contained in Dharma Sutra (Prose)
and Dharmashastras (Poetry).
c) Digests and Commentaries : After the Smrities, the next step in the
development of Hindu Law was the composition of a number of
commentaries (tika) and Digests (Nibandha) based upon the
Smrities. The commentaries are to interpret the law as laid down in
d) Custom : When human beings came to live in groups, it was but
natural that they should, for harmonious group life, conform to
certain patterns of human behaviour.
2) Modern Sources :2) Modern Sources :
a)a) Judicial DecisionsJudicial Decisions
c)c) Equity, Justice and Good ConscienceEquity, Justice and Good Conscience
APPLICATION OF HINDU LAW1 .Hindu by Religion : In this category two types of persons fall –
a)Those who are originally Hindus, Jains, Sikhs or Buddhist by religion,
b) Those who are converts or reconverts to Hindu, Jain, Sikhs or Buddhist
c) Converts and Reconverts to Hinduism
2. Hindu by Birth : A child whose both the parents were Hindus, Sikhs,
Jains or Buddhists at the time of his birth, is regarded as Hindu. A person will
be Hindu if at the time of his birth one of the parents was Hindu and the child is
brought up as a member of the tribe, community, group or family to which
Hindu parent belonged at the time of his birth.
3. Who are not Muslims, Christians, Parsis or Jews : Any person who is
not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew and who is not governed by any other law,
is governed by Hindu law, unless it is proved that Hindu law is not applicable to
Under the Codified Law : Section 2 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955,
provides that the Act applies to the persons listed below (and similar
provisions are also made in the other enactments of Hindu Law) –
1. Application of Act – This Act applies –
a) to any person who is Hindu by religion in any of its forms of
development, 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, Jains 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
the tribe, community, group or family to which such parent belongs or
c) any person who is a convert or re-convert to the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain or Sikh
2. Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), nothing contained in
this Act shall apply to the members of any Schedule Tribes 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 “Hindu” 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 to whom this Act applies by virtue of the provisions contained in this
Person to whom Hindu Law Applies (Uncodified Law) :
1. Hindus by birth and also to Hindus by conversion in any of its forms or developments
including Brahmans, Arya Samajists etc.
2. Illegitimate children whose parents are Hindus.
3. Illegitimate children born of a Christian father and a Hindu mother and brought up as
4. Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and Nambudry Brahmans except, so far such law is varied by
custom and to lingayats who are considered as Shudras.
5. Sons of Hindu dancing girls of Naik caste converted to Mohammedanism where the sons
are taken into the family of Hindu grandparents and are brought up as Hindus.
7. Brahmos and Arya Samajists, and to Santhals of Chhota Nagpur, and also to Santhals of
Manbhum except so far as it is not varied by custom.
8. A Hindu who has made a declaration that he is not Hindu for the purpose of Special
Marriage Act 1872, and
9. A person who is born a Hindu and has not renounced the Hindu religion, does not cease
to be a Hindu merely because he departs
10. A Hindu by birth who having renounced Hinduism, has reverted to it after performing the
religious rites of expiation and repentance, or even without a formal ritual or re-
conversion when he was recognised as a Hindu by the community
THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955
Nature of Hindu Marriage - Sacrament or a Contract :
• It is believed among Hindus that every Hindu is under a religious
obligation to discharge three debts– Pitri Rin, Dev Rin, and Rishi Rin.
• Rishi Rin is discharged by getting education, Dev Rin is discharged
by prayer and by making gift but for the discharge of Pitri Rin a
Hindu must have his own son who is supposed to perform funeral
rites and to give sacred obligations to the ancestors on their death
for their salvation. Marriage is also necessary among Hindus
because all the religious ceremonies and rites are to be performed in
the companionship of his wife otherwise they will not bear any fruits.
• From the Rig Vedic period marriage was considered as a
sacramental union. A marriage is the union of flesh with flesh and
bone with bone. It is a union which is indissoluble. As long as her
husband is alive, the wife is enjoined to regard him as her God;
likewise, the wife is declared to be half the body of her husband
(Ardhangini) who shares with him equally the fruits of all his acts,
good or bad. Man is only half, not complete until he marries. The wife
is the source of Dharma, Artha and Kama, and she is also the source
• According to Manu, the daughter is given in marriage only once
and she remains the wife of that person to whom she is given
in marriage for her whole life.
• According to Narada and Parasara, there are only five
conditions in which a wife could abandon her husband and
• 1.If the husband is lost; 2.dead; or 3.has renounced the
world and has become a sanyasi; or 4. has become
impotent; 5. has been ousted from his caste.
• But these conditions could be allowed only in the case of
unapproved form of marriage. Marriage is a tie which once tied
cannot be untied. It is sacramental union and continues to exist
even after the enactment of the Hindu Marriage Act.
• Changes Brought About by the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 :
• 1. The Act has declared that marriages amongst Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, are
• 2. Monogamy has been introduced and provided punishment for bigamy.
• 3. The minimum age for marriage, 21 for boy and 18 for a girl.
• 4. The Act does not recognise any particular form of marriage but prescribes some
• 5. Registration of Hindu Marriage.
• 6. Restitution of conjugal rights.
• 7. The provision of judicial separation.
• 8. The provision of divorce and the concept of divorce by mutual consent.
• 9. The provision of re-marriage.
• 10. Legitimacy of a child born out of either void or voidable marriage.
• 11. Provision for the custody of children during the pendency of legal proceeding and
even after the passing of decree.
Hindu Marriages Act, 1955
Section 5. Conditions for a Hindu marriage
A marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus, if the following
condition are fulfilled, namely:-
(i) neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage
(ii) at the time of 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
(iii) the bridegroom has completed the age of twenty one years and the bride, the
age of eighteen years at the time of 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
(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;
Sec.2 (g) degrees of prohibited relationship”
Two persons are said to be within the “degrees of prohibited
(i) if one is 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 of the
(iv) if the two are brother and sister, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew
or children of brother and sister or of two brother or of two sister;
Explanation- For the purposes of clauses (f) and (g), relationship
(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 constructed
• Prohibited degrees
• Lineal ascendants
• If one was the w or h of a lineal ascendant or
descendant of the other
Sec.2 (f) “sapinda relationship”
(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 “sapindas” 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;
• Is A sapinda to his paternal great grandfather’s
son’s daughter B
• Is A sapinda to his maternal aunt’s grand daughter
(daughter’s daughter B
Is A sapinda to his maternal aunt’s grand daughter (son’s
Is A sapinda to his grandfather’s son’s
• Ceremonies for a Hindu Marriage (Section 7)
• a) A marriage may be solemnised in accordance with the
customary rites and ceremonies of either party thereto.
• b) 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
binding when the seventh step is taken.
• Registration of Hindu Marriages (Section 8) : For the
purpose of facilitating the proof of a Hindu Marriage, the State
Government may make rules that the parties to marriage may
have the necessary particulars entered in a Hindu Marriage
Register kept for the purpose.
• The marriage is not affected in any way by the omission to
have it entered in the Hindu Marriage Register, even it is
compulsory to do so. The only consequence is that a fine not
exceeding Rs. 25, may be levied.
• Consequences in case of violation of the above conditions
mentioned u/s. 5 of the Act:----
• Contravention of Sec.5(1) will render the marriage void
under Section 11, and a competent Court may declare such
a marriage to be a nullity on a petition presented by either
party to such marriage.
• The parties to a bigamous marriage are also liable to be
punished under Section 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal
Code (Section 17 of the Act).
• Contravention of Sec.5(2) will render the marriage voidable
under Section 12
• Contravention of Sec.5(3) will render the marriage valid but
according to sec.18 (a) - Every person who procures a
marriage of himself or herself to be solemnized under this Act
in contravention of the conditions specified in clauses (iii) of
section 5 shall be punishable-with rigorous imprisonment
which may extend to 2 years, or with fine which may
extend to one lakh rupees, or with both;
• And PCMA
• Contravention of Sec.5(3) and (4) will render the marriage
void under Section 11, and according to sec.18 (b) in the
case of a contravention of the condition specified in
clause (iv) and (v) of section 5, with simple imprisonment
which may extend to 1 month, or with fine which may
extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
• 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 child is born before or
after the commencement of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976,
(68 of 1976) and whether or not a decree of nullity is granted in respect of
that 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.
• Void Marriage (Section 11) : Any marriage solemnized at 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) of Section 5.
Thus a marriage will be void ab initio–
• i) if any party to marriage has a spouse living at the time of
marriage [Section 5(i)];
• ii) if the parties are within the decree of prohibited relationship
unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits such
a marriage [Section 5 (iv)];
• iii) if the parties are sapindas of each other, unless the custom
or usage governing each of them permits such a marriage
• Section 11 is not applicable to marriage solemnized before the
commencement of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, i.e. before 18th
May 1955 though such marriage may be void.
Section 12 (1)-Voidable marriages:-- 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,
• (a) that the marriage has not been consummated owing to the
impotence 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], (2 of 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
circumstances 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
• (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
• (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
• Court to Which Petition shall be Presented (Section 19) :
• Every petition under this code shall be presented to the
District Court within the local limits of whose ordinary original
civil jurisdiction –
• 1. the marriage was solemnized; or
• 2. the respondent, at the time of the presentation of the
petition resided, or
• 3.a) the parties to the marriage last resided together; or
• b) in case the wife is the petitioner, where she is residing on
the date of presentation of the petition;
• 4. the petitioner is residing at the time of the presentation of
the petition, in a case where the respondent –
• a) is at that time residing outside the territories to which the
Act extends, or
• b) has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven
years or more by those persons who would have naturally
heard of him if he were alive.
Restitution of Conjugal Rights (Section 9)
• 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 land 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
• 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.
• reasonable excuse:---
• a) Grossly indecent behaviour.
• b) Extravagance of living on the part of the wife affecting the
financial position and prospects of the husband.
• c) Excessive drinking carried to such a degree as to render it
impossible for the duties of married life to be discharged.
• d) Persistence in a false charge against the respondent of having
committed an unnatural offence.
• e) Refusal of marital intercourse without sufficient reason.
• f) Apprehension of violence due to development of insanity in the
• g) Agreement to live separately.
• h) Misconduct approaching cruelty
• i) withdrawal for reasons of employment
• Kailashwati vs Ajudhia Prakash 1971 P.&H.
• Swaraj Garg v. K.M. Garg 1978 Dehi
Whether Section 9 of the Act is Unconstitutional :
• T. Sareetha v T. Venkata Subhaiah A.I.R1983 A.P :--Holding that
Section 9 is constitutionally void, as being violative of Article 21, the Court
• “A decree for restitution of conjugal rights constitutes the grossest from of
violation of an individual’s right to privacy. The Court also held that Section 9
also violated Article 14 of the Constitution (the right to equality)
• Harvinder Kaur v Harmander Singh Choudhry A.I.R1984 Delhi:-section
9 is not violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.
• Saroj Rani v Sudarshan Kumar Chandha A.I.R1984 S.C.:-- where the
Court expressly overruled the judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court,
and held that Section 9 is not violative of Article 14 and 21 of the
Constitution. The Court pointed out that a decree for restitution of conjugal
rights serves a social purpose as an aid to the prevention of break-up in a
marriage. Even if such an order of the Court is willfully disobeyed, the
Court cannot enforce sexual intercourse between the spouses. The only
remedy of the other party would be to apply for attachment of the property
of the defaulting spouse, through Rule32 of Order 21 of the CPC.
• Section 13 (1A) (ii) 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- that there has been no restitution of conjugal rights as
between the parties to the marriage for a period of [one year] or
upwards after the passing of a decree for restitution of conjugal
rights in a proceeding to which they were parties
Section 9, in actuality, is a means of saving the marriage, it is in a
sense an extension of sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 23 of the Act
which encourage reconciliation by the court. It is the policy of the Act
that the parties should live together and assist in the maintenance of
• By enforcing cohabitation, the court is serving this purpose of the
Act. the Indian Legislature believes that there should not be a sudden
break of the marriage tie. It believes in reconciliation and that that
cooling-off period is not only desirable but essential. If the marriage
cannot be saved even after passing the decree of restitution it must
be dissolved. A factual separation gives an easily justifiable
indication of breakdown.
• Further, recognizing non-consumption of marriage after 1 year of
passing of Restitution Decree as a ground of divorce enables the
aggrieved spouse to apply to the court for maintenance under section
25; and maintenance pendente lite may also be claimed by making out
a case for the same as provided in section 24. This enables a wife,
who does not desire disruption of the marriage or even judicial
separation from the husband, to secure provision for her support by
an order of the court under the matrimonial jurisdiction conferred on
it, instead of filing a suit for maintenance under the law relating to
maintenance now embodied in the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance
• The Remedy of Restitution of Conjugal Rights is archaic, barbarous
and violative of the basic Human Rights. It cannot be said that this
remedy is unconstitutional. Section 9 has sufficient safeguards to
prevent the marriage from being a tyranny.In truth, it serves the
social good purpose, by promoting reconciliation between the parties
and maintenance of matrimonial. It protects the society from
denigrating. And all the years that it has been enforce it has efficiently
played it's a role.
• (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
specified in sub-section (2) thereof, as grounds on which a petition for
divorce 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 statements made in such petition, rescind the
decree if it considers it just and reasonable to do so.
• Section 13 (1A) (i) 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-that there
has been no resumption of cohabitation as between the parties to the
marriage for a period of 3[one year] or upwards after the passing of a decree
for judicial separation in a proceeding to which they were parties
Section 13. Divorce
• Grounds on Fault theory:---for Husband and Wife both
• (1) Any marriage solemnized, whether before or after the commencement of this Act,
may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by
decree of divorce on the ground that the other party-
• (i) has after the solemnized of the marriage, had voluntary sexual inter course with
any person other than his or her spouse;
• To prove the adultery, direct evidence is not necessary and can be proved by
circumstantial evidence The sexual intercourse by either of the spouses other than
his or her spouses must be a voluntary act. To get the matrimonial relief, the act of
cohibition must be proved beyond doubt Pre-marriage unchastity of the wife or the
sexual relation of husband with some other women is not a ground of divorce. The
burden of proving adultery is always on the person alleging adultery.
• (ia) after the solemnization of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty
• The cruelty is not defined in the Act but it should be so serious and weighty that
cohabitation becomes impossible.
• i) Physical Cruelty : It will necessarily constitute a violence of certain degree and
such degree of violence, sufficient to constitute legal cruelty, will vary with the
status of parties in each case. Where bodily injury is inflicted or where there is a
reasonable apprehension of danger to life, limb or health, bodily or mental, it is easy
to conclude that cruelty has taken place.
• ii) Mental Cruelty : denotes a set of circumstances, which though fall short of actual
physical violence, may yet be acts of cruelty, e.g. malicious false accusation,
rudeness, forcing wife to prostitution, threatening a pregnant wife, etc.
• (ib) has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period
of not less than two years immediately preceding the
presentation of the petition;
• i) Actual Desertion :
• A) The spouses must have parted or terminated all joint-living.
• B) The deserting spouse must have the intention to desert the other spouse.
• C) The deserted spouse must not have agreed to the separation.
• D) The desertion must have been without reasonable cause; and
• E) This State of affairs must have continued for the requisite period i.e. two
• ii) Constructive Desertion : Desertion is not only abandoning the
company of the other spouse but also abandonment of a state of things, in
which one party to marriage has been compelled to leave matrimonial home
owing to repulsive behaviour of the other party and the party thus living
separately cannot be held to be deserter but the party compelling her/him
would be held to be the deserter.
• (ii) has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another
• (iii) has been incurably of unsound mind, or has been
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
• Explanation: in this clause-
• (a) the expression “mental disorder” means mental
illness, arrested or incomplete development of mind,
psychopathic disorder of any other disorder or
disability of mind and includes schizophrenia.
• (b) the expression “psychopathic disorder” means a
persistent disorder of 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.
• (v) has been suffering from venereal disease in a
communicable form; or
• (vi) has renounced the world by entering any religious
• (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 wilful neglect of the petitioner by the other
party to the marriage, and its grammatical variations and
cognate expressions shall be constructed accordingly.]
• Section (13) 2. Grounds Available to the Wife Only :
• a) Bigamy [Section 13 (2)(i)] : That in the case of a marriage solemnized
before the commencement of the Act (i.e. 18th May, 1955) the husband
has married before such commencement or that any other wife of
husband, married before such commencement, was alive at the time of the
• b) Rape, Sodomy or Bestiality [Section 13(2)(ii)] : That the husband has
been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality after the solemnization of
• c) Decree or Order Awarding Maintenance [Section 13(2)(iii)] : That in
a suit under Section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956
or in a proceedings under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. 1973, a decree or
order has been passed against the husband awarding maintenance to the
wife (notwithstanding that she was living apart) and after passing of such
decree or order cohabitation between the parties has not been resumed for
one year or upwards.
• d) Option of Puberty [Section 13(2)(iv)] : That the wife’s marriage was
solemnized before she attained the age of fifteen years and she repudiated
the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of
eighteen years, whether the marriage has been consummated or not.
Divorce on Marriage Breakdown Theory
• Decree of Judicial Separation [Section 13(1-A)(1)]
: That a decree for judicial separation between the
parties has been passed, and there has been no
resumption of cohabitation for a period of at least
one year after the passing of such decree.
• Decree of Restitution of Conjugal Rights [Section
13(1-A) (2)] : That a decree for restitution of conjugal
rights between the parties has been passed, but
there has been no restitution of conjugal rights for a
period of at least one year after the passing of such
• Divorce by Mutual Consent
• (Section 13 B (1)) : That both the parties have been living
separately for a period of one year or more or that both the
parties have not been able to live together or that both the
parties have mutually agreed that their marriage should be
• (Section 13 B (2)) :On the motion of both the parties made
not 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 meantime, 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.
When a Divorce Petition can be
Presented (Section 14) :
• Divorce has not been made easy and atleast one year should
have elapsed between the date of marriage and the
presentation of a divorce petition. But a petition may be field
within this period, if so permitted by the court on an
application being made to it on the ground of–
• 1. Exceptional hardship suffered by the petitioner.
• 2. Exceptional depravity on the part of the other party.
• 3. 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.
When Divorced Persons can Re-marry
(Section 15) :
• After passing the decree of divorce, the parties
to the marriage, may marry again, if the
following conditions are satisfied–
• 1. When a marriage has been dissolved and
there is no appeal against the decree of court.
• 2. If there is such a right of appeal but the time
has been expired without filing an appeal.
• 3. An appeal has been filed but has been
• Contents and Verification of Petitions (Section 20) :
• The petition for any relief must distinctly set out the nature of the case and the facts
on which the claim to relief is founded. It must also state (except in a petition under
Section 11) that there is no collusion between the parties to the marriage. The
statements contained in the petition have also to be verified by the petition (or some
other competent person) in the manner in which plaints have to be verified, and
such statements may be referred to as evidence at the time of the hearing.
• Application of the Code of Civil Procedure (Section 21) :
• Except as otherwise provided by the Act, all matters of procedure under the Act are
to be regulated by the C.P.C. The Act also confers on the High Court, the power to
make rules regulating the procedure to be adopted.
• Power to Transfer Petition in Certain Cases (Section 21-A) : Section 21A of
the Act provides that if a Petition under the Act has been presented to a District
Court for judicial separation (under Section 10) or for divorce (under Section 13),
and subsequently another petition is presented by the other party to the marriage for
judicial separation or for divorce, in the same District Court, or in a different District
Court, in the same State or in a different State –
• a) if the petitions are presented to the same District Court,– both the petitions are to
be tried and heard together by that District Court;
• b) if the petitons are presented to different District Courts,– the subsequent petition
is to be transferred to the District Court in which the earlier petition was presented,
and both the petitions are to be heard and disposed of by the District Court in which
the earlier petition was presented
• Special Provisions Relating to Trial &
Disposal of Petitions under the Act
(Section 21B) :
• Section 21B provides that the trial of a petition under
the Act should, as far as is practicable, consistently
with the interests of justice, 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, and records the reasons for doing so.
• It is further provided that all petitions and appeals are to
be disposed of as expeditiously as possible, and an
endeavour is to be made to dispose of a petition within
six months from the date of service of the notice of the
petition on the Respondent, and an appeal within three
months from the date of the service of the notice of the
appeal on the Respondent.
• Section 22 -Proceedings to be in camera
and may not be printed or published
• (1)Every proceeding 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
• (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.
• Section 23-Decree in proceedings.
• (1)In any proceeding under this Act, whether defended or not, if the court is
• (a) any of the grounds for granting relief exists and the petitioner except in
cases where the relief is sought by him on the ground specified in sub-
clause (a), sub-clause (b) or sub clause (c) of clause (ii) or section 5 is not in
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 or in clause (i)
of sub-section (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 of 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
• (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
• (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 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
• (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.
• Section 23 A. Relief for respondent in divorce
and other proceedings.:---------
• In any proceeding 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
• Section 24-Maintenance Pendente lite and
• 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 to the petitioner the expenses of
the proceeding, and monthly during 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.
• SECTION 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 purpose 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, if
any, the 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 immovable 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.
• Section 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 proceeding 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
• Section 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
• Section 28-Appeals from decrees and orders.
• (1)All decrees made by the 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 proceeding 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 the subject of costs
• (4)Every-appeal under this section shall be preferred within a period of
thirty days from the date of the decree or order. 28A.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 are enforced.
• (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
religions, castes or sub-divisions of the same caste.
• (2)Nothing contained in this Act shall be deemed to affect any right
recognized 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 affect 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-Repealed by the Repealing
and Amending Act, 1960 (58 of 1960), s. 2 and the First Schedule.
Hindu Adoptions And Maintenance Act, 1956
• LAWS RELATED TO ADOPTION
• Adoption has no uniform law in India, but there are some legislation related
to adoption that is divided into two categories:
• 1. Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956
• 2. The Guardians and Wards Act 1890
• In Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956 only Hindus can take
advantage of this act as personal law governs it.
• a) To any person who is a Hindu inclusive of Buddhism, Jainism and
Sikhism this act is applicable.
• b) This Act does not apply to those who are Muslims, Christians, Parsis, or
Jews by religion.
• c) The Act also applies to the child whose biological parents is not known
or have abandoned the child and has been brought up as Hindu,
Buddhist, Jain or Sikh.
• d) The Hindu female who is not a minor and not married but is of sound
mind can adopt. She cannot be a joint petitioner with her husband but can
only be a consenting party in the child's adoption.
• e) A Hindu male who is not a minor and is of sound mind can adopt
• f) A Male Hindu can adopt only by the consent of his wife, unless
and until she has given up Hinduism or is of unsound mind.
• g) The Adoptive parents should not have a child who has been
adopted or a child of their own or a grandchild at the time of
• h) A valid Adoption cannot be changed or cancelled.
• i) All the rights of the biological parents should be replaced to the
• j) A valid adoption is the one in which the person giving and the
person taking the child sign the Adoption Documents.
• k) If the adopter and the adoptee are of the opposite sex then the
age difference between them should be at least 21 years.
• l) Only the child's parents or guardian can give the child in
adoption.m) Nobody should be awarded or paid in relation to
• 2. The Guardians and Wards Act 1890 Under this act,
people belonging to communities such as Muslim,
Christian, Parsi or Jews and who wish to adopt can only
take up "Guardianship" of the child. This child, like the
biological child would not be provided with the same
• Christians and Parsis can take a child under the said
Act only under foster care. Once a child under foster
care becomes major, he is free to break away all his
connections. Besides, such a child does not have legal
right of inheritance.
• Foreigners, who want to adopt Indian children have to
approach the court under the aforesaid Act. In case the
court has given permission for the child to be taken out
of the country, adoption according to a foreign law, i.e.,
law applicable to guardian takes place outside the
• Section 2. Application of Act
• (1) This Act applies-
• (a) to any person, who is a Hindu by religion in any of its
forms or developments, including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or
a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana of Arya Samaj,
• (b) to any person who is a Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion
• (c) to any other person 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 the law in respect 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, and Sikh by religion and who is
brought up as a member of the tribe, community, group or
family to which such parent belongs or belonged;
• (bb) any child, legitimate or illegitimate who has been
abandoned both by his father and mother or whose parentage
is known and who in either case is brought up as a Hindu,
Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh; and
• (c) any person who is convert or reconvert to the Hindu,
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 the Official Gazette, otherwise directs.
• (3) The expression "Hindu" 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.
• CHAPTER II ADOPTIONS
• Section 5. Adoptions to be regulated by this chapter
• (1) No adoption shall be made after the commencement of
this Act by or to a Hindu except in accordance with the
provisions contained in this Chapter, and any adoption
made in contravention of the said provision shall be void.
• (2) An adoption which is void shall neither create any rights
in the adoptive family in favour of any person which he or
she could not have acquired except by reason of the
adoption, nor destroy the right of any person in the family of
his or her birth.
• Section 6. Requisites of a valid adoption
• No adoption shall be valid unless-
• (i) the person adopting has the capacity, and also the
right, to take in adoption;
• (ii) the person giving in adoption has the capacity to do
• (iii) the person adopted is capable of being taken in
• (iv) the adoption is made in compliance with the other
conditions mentioned in this Chapter i.e section 11.
• Where any of the requirements as laid down under s.6
are not strictly observed, that non-observance of the
requisite or requisites is enough to convert the adoption
as invalid one.-Dhanraj v. Suraj Bai 1972 Raj LW 612
• Section 7. Capacity of a male Hindu to take in
• Any male Hindu who is sound mind and is not a minor
has the capacity to take a son or a daughter in adoption:
• PROVIDED that, if he has a wife living,
• he shall not adopt except with the consent of his wife
unless the wife has completely and finally renounced the
• has ceased to be a Hindu or
• has been declared by a court of competent jurisdiction
to be of unsound mind.
• Explanation: If a person has more than one wife living at
the time of adoption, the consent of all the wives is
necessary unless the consent of any one of the them is
unnecessary for any of the reasons specified in the
• The person taking in adoption must not suffer from idiocy or
insanity; he must have the capacity enough to understand the nature
of the Act and what would be the legal effects of adoption .
Simultaneously it is not the requirement the person concerned must
be possessed with a very high degree of intelligence. There is a very
strong presumption favouring soundness of mind.-Babubarelal v.
Gulzari Devi 1979 All LJ 1333
• Deaf and dumb but possessed with the capacity to express through
signs and gestures, though not clearly, is to be taken as a person of
sound mind.-Ambrish Kumar v. Hatu Prasad 1981 HLR 781
• Proviso places a restriction as concerned to right to take in adoption
that makes the consent of the wife a necessity so as to make the
adoption valid. The consent must be obtained prior to the civil
adoption takes place and not later on where the proviso is
disregarded adoption is not valid.-Badrilal v. Bheru 1986 (1) HLR 81.
• In the case of divorce the consent is not necessary but in the case of
judicial separation, consent would be necessary. In case of two
wives, consent must be of both the wives despite the fact that one of
them was not living under the same roof for a big job of twenty or
thirty years.-Bhooloo Ram v. Ram Lal 1989 (2) HLR 162
• Section 8. Capacity of a female Hindu to take in
• Any female Hindu :-
• (a) Who is of sound mind,
• (b) who is not a minor, and
• (c) who is not married, or if married, whose marriage has
been dissolved or whose husband is dead or has completely
and finally renounced the world or has ceased to be a Hindu
or has been declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be
of unsound mind,
• has the capacity to take a son or daughter in adoption.
• After the completion of the age of eighteen, a woman gets the
capacity to adopt even though. she herself is unmarried.
Where after the adoption, she is married, her husband would
be step-father and she herself would remain adoptive mother
as earlier. Adoption by an unmarried can also take place
despite the fact that she is having an illegitimate child. -
Ashoka Naidu v. Raymond AIR 1976 Cal 272.
• Section 9. Persons capable of giving in
• (1) No person except the father or mother the guardian of a child
shall have the capacity to give the child in adoption.
• (2) Subject to the provision of [sub-section (3) and sub-section (4)],
• the father, if alive, shall alone have the right to give in adoption,
• but such right shall not be exercised save with the consent of the
mother unless the mother has completely and finally renounced
the world or has ceased to be a Hindu has been declared by a court
of competent jurisdiction to be of unsound mind.
• (3) The mother may give the child in adoption
• if the father is dead or
• has completely and finally renounced the world or
• has ceased to be a Hindu or
• has been declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be of
• (4) Where both the father and mother are dead or have
completely and finally renounced the world or
• have abandoned the child or
• have been declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to
be of unsound mind or
• where the parentage of the child is not known,
• the guardian of the child may give the child in adoption with
the previous permission of the court to any person including
the guardian himself.
• (5) Before granting permission to a guardian under sub-
section (4), the court shall be satisfied that the adoption will
be for the welfare of the child, due consideration being for
this purpose given to the wishes of the child having regard
to the age and understanding of the child and that the
applicant for permission has not received or agreed to
receive and that no person has made or given or agreed to
make or give to the applicant any payment or reward in
consideration of the adoption except such as the court may
• Explanation: For the purposes of this section-
• (i) the expression "father" and "mother" do not
include an adoptive father and an adoptive mother;
• (ia) "guardian" means a person having the care of
the person of a child or of both his person and
property and includes-
• (a) a guardian appointed by the will of the child's
father or mother; and
• (b) a guardian appointed or declared by a court: and]
• (ii) "court" means the city civil court or a district
• court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the
child to be adopted ordinarily resides.
• Section 10. Persons who may be adopted
• No person shall be capable of being taken in adoption
unless the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:-
• (i) he or she is Hindu;
• (ii) he or she has not already been adopted;
• (iii) he or she has not been married, unless there is a
custom or usage applicable to the parties which permits
persons who are married being taken in adoption;
• (iv) he or she has not completed the age of fifteen years,
unless there is a custom or usage applicable to the
parties which permits persons who have completed the
age of fifteen years being taken in adoption.
• There is a bar imposed by this s. 10 and that being a married
person cannot be adopted. But the case is different where
there is some custom among Jats of Punjab and Haryana in
having a legal sanction and judicially recognised where under
the custom permits the adoption of married person-Amar
Singh V.Tej Ram 1982 (84 )Punj LR 2387
• The person above the age of 15 years cannot be given in
adoption and if there is some custom permitting that the same
must be strictly pleaded and proved-Mahalingam v.
Kannayyar AIR 1990 Mad. 333. 1989 (2) MLJ 3441
• Existence of custom be it family or tribal custom having its
applicability to the parties concerned whereby the adoption of
a person married or of the age of more than 15 years is
permitted, is all that is required to be established by the
provision of section 10 so as to make adoption valid.-Maya
Ram v. Jai Narian 1989 (1) HLR 352
• Section 11. other conditions for a valid adoption
• In every adoption, the following conditions must be complied
• (i) if the adoption is of a son, the adoptive father or mother by
whom adoption is made must not have a Hindu son, son's
son or son's son's son (whether by legitimate blood
relationship or by adoption) living at the time of adoption;
• (ii) if the adoption is of a daughter, the adoptive father or
mother by whom the adoption is made must not have a
Hindu daughter or son's daughter (whether by legitimate
blood relationship or by adoption)living at the time of
• (iii) if the adoption is by a male and the person to be adopted
is a female, the adoptive father is at least twenty one years
older than the person to be adopted;
• (iv) if the adoption is by a female and the person to be adopted is a male,
the adoptive mother is at least twenty -one years older than the person to
• (v) the same child may not be adopted simultaneously by two or more
• (vi) the child to be adopted must be actually given and taken in adoption
by the parents or guardian concerned or under their authority with intent to
transfer the child from the family of its birth [or in case of an abandoned
child or child whose parentage is not known, from the place or family
where it has been brought up] to the family of its adoption:
• PROVIDED that the performance of datta homam shall not be essential to
the validity of adoption.
• Requirement of an age gap of 21 years between the adoptee and the
adopted, if violated is sufficient to render the adoption invalid.- Golak
Chandra v . Kritibas AIR 1979 Ori. 205
• Where the case is, one child is given to the family of other so that the child
is brought up, this giving of the child does not constitute adoption. There
must be an intention to give and to take the child in adoption.-Kewal Singh
v. Bakshish Singh 1975 (77) Punj LR 321
• Section 12. Effects of adoption
• An adopted child shall be deemed to be the child of his or
her adoptive father or mother for all purposes with effect
from the date of the adoption and from such date all the
ties of the child in the family of his or her birth shall be
deemed to be severed and replaced by those created by the
adoption in the adoptive family :
• PROVIDED that -
• (a) the child cannot marry any person whom he or she
could not have married if he or she had continued in the
family of his or her birth;
• (b) any property which vested in the adopted child before
the adoption shall continue to vest in such person subject to
the obligations, if any, attaching to the ownership of such
property, including the obligation to maintain relatives in the
family of his or her birth;
• (c) the adopted child shall not divest any person of any
estate which vested in him or her before the adoption.
• Section 14. Determination of adoptive mother in certain
• (1) Where a Hindu who has a wife living adopts a child, she
shall be deemed to be the adoptive mother.
• (2) Where an adoption has been made with the consent of
more than one wife, the senior-most in marriage among them
shall be deemed to be the adoptive mother and the other to be
• (3) Where a widower or a bachelor adopts a child, any wife
whom he subsequently marries shall be deemed to be step
mother of the step mother of the adopted child.
• (4) Where a widow or an unmarried woman adopts a child, any
husband whom she marries subsequently shall be deemed to
be the step father of the adoptive child.
• Section 13. Right of adoptive parents to dispose
of their properties
• Subject to any agreement to the contrary, an
adoption does not deprive the adoptive father or
mother of the power to dispose of his or her
property by transfer inter vivos or by will.
• Section 15. Valid adoption not to be cancelled
• No adoption which has been validly made can be
cancelled by the adoptive father or mother or any
other person, nor can the adopted child renounce
his or her status as such and return to the family of
his or her birth.
• Section 16.Presumption as to registered documents
relating to adoption
• Whenever any document registered under any law for the
time being in force is produced before any court purporting
to record an adoption made and is signed by the person
giving and the person taking the child in adoption, the court
shall presume that the adoption has been made in
compliance with the provisions of this Act unless and until it
• In case a challenge is thrown to the deed of adoption on the
ground of its execution being by fraud, coercion or undue
influence, it is for the party challenging the document that
has to establish that the execution was so vitiated.-Sushil
Chandra v. Bhoop Kunwar AIR 1977 All 441.
• Presumption as to registered documents relation to
adoption is only a rebuttable presumption.-Bhoolo Ram v.
Ramlal 1989 (2) HLR 162
• SECTION 17. Prohibition of Certain Payments
• (1) No person shall receive or agree to receive any
payment or other reward in consideration of the
adoption of any person, and no person shall make or
give or agree to make or give to any other person any
payment or reward the receipt of which is prohibited by
• (2) If any person contravenes the provision of sub-
section (1), he shall be punishable with imprisonment
which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with
• (3) No prosecution under this section shall be instituted
without the previous sanction of the State Government or
an officer authorised by the State Government in this
• Bare Act of Hindu Marriage Act
• Family Law: Paras Diwan,. Allahabad Law Agency