trouble to wife?
Mita got married to Sujit in 2006. They have a baby boy now. However Sujit started troubling her after two years since marriage. Mita got fed up of trying to adjust and shifted out of their matrimonial house and started living alone. They had not registered their marriage, and it has been a long while since they lived together. Mita has been considering to marry again, but doesn’t want to go through the hassle of divorce. Is that possible?
In a Hindu community (which includes sikh, jain and budh) the marriage is said to be complete as soon as the Saptapadi ritual is completed.[i] Hence even if one’s marriage is not registered s/he will be regarded as married to his/her spouse if the ritual of saptapadi is completed. Saptapdai ritual is the seven step ritual which the couple take together after tying the Mangalsutra (Sacred thread).[ii] So if your friend’s husband can produce evidence like marriage photographs, DVDs, he can easily prove the completion of saptapadi and therefore the existence of legally recognized marital relationship between him and your friend.
In any circumstances she cannot marry without a divorce unless her first marriage was void (i.e., Saptapadi had not taken place or you have no proof of Saptapadi being taken place[iii]). If in case her first marriage was void then she can go about marrying anyone without a divorce.
A divorce petition in India can be filed when the parties are living away from each other atleast for one year[iv] (Not living as husband and wife) . After this the court gives 6 to 18 months period time to the parties to reflect on their moves.[v] There is also a cooling off period of 6 months.
[i] Smt. Natari Parvati v. State of Andra Pradesh and Ors 2003(2)ALD(Cri)731
[ii] Definition and all seven steps available at: http://www.saptapadi.net/html/about-sevensteps.asp
[iii] Nagorao Bhujanga More and Venkati Nagorao More v. Premalabai W/o. Digamber Mahananda D/o. Digambar 2009(3)BomCR813, 2009(4)MhLj478
[iv] Hindu Marriage Act 1955 http://indiankanoon.org/doc/590166/
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