Bombay High Court: Hearing an appeal, a Division Bench comprising of BP Dharmadhikari and Swapna Joshi, JJ held that simply performing two rites, that of sindoor and mangalsutra, does not make a marriage valid. The Court passed this order against an order of the Family Court, Nagpur which had allowed the petition filed by respondent woman in her mid thirties seeking restoration of conjugal rights. The respondent woman was earlier married to another man and later divorced, though she continued to stay with him in the interest of her two children. Later she met the appellant and fell in love with him. The appellant ‘married’ her by putting mangalsutra and applying vermilion on her forehead before the idol of Lord Krishna.
The Court noted that as per provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, a wedding must be performed as per ceremonies, rites and rituals recognised by either of the parties. Under the Act, importance is given to Satpadi which was not performed in this case. The Court also observed that even though there was physical relationship between the two parties, they were not in a live-in relationship, hence there was no valid marriage between the two and the Family Court’s order which held to be erroneous and was quashed. [Nitin Omprakash Agarwal vs. Rekha Agarwal, Family Court Appeal 57 of 2015, decided on 31-01-2017]