Author: Surekha Naresh, Student at Tamil Nadu National Law University, Tiruchirappalli
Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, addresses the requirements that must be met before a couple may be married. It mentions briefly that neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage, that valid consent must be present, that neither party should be suffering from mental illness or be unsuitable for procreation of children, and that neither party should meet the criteria of prohibited marriages, and that, most importantly, the bridegroom and the bride should have completed the age of 21 and 18, respectively. However, when we center our attention on the idea of “Redefined Marriages,” we must make sure to give Section 7 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 our undivided attention. It discusses the ceremonies and customs that must be carried out for a marriage to be considered legally binding. In most cases, the marriage between the husband and the bride is solemnized by a priest. However, in the state of Tamil Nadu, we have a specific provision known as 7-A of the Hindu Marriage Act that deals with Suyamariyathai and Seerthirutha marriages. These types of marriages allow a couple to be married without the presence of a priest to perform the ceremony. Is it possible for a marriage to be recognized as lawful in the present day and age when a priest performs the wedding ceremony online and the couple is physically present at the same location? How does the Special Marriage Act of 1954 view this? My article tends to answer these questions.