A Void Marriage contravenes some tenet which is envisaged as basic to the institution of the marriage. Section 11 states that 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 of the conditions specified in clauses (1), (4) and of
Thus a marriage will be void ab initio,
- if any party to marriage has a spouse living at the time of the marriage [Section 5(1)]
- if the parties are within the degree of prohibited relationship unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits such a marriage [Section 5(4)]
- If the parties are sapindas of each other, unless the custom or usage
governing each of them permits such a marriage
. Provision is prospective but decree of court has retrospective operation, Section 11 of this Act is prospective in nature. It is only applicable to marriages solemnized after the commencement of HINDU MARREAGE ACT, 1955. It is not applicable to marriages solemnized before the commencement of the HINDU MARREAGE ACT, that is before 18thMay, 1955, though such marriages may be void. But the decree of nullity passed in the case of a void marriage has retrospective operation. It annuls the marriage not from the date of its passing but from the date of the solemnization of marriage.
Effect of a Void Marriage, The expression “Void Marriage” is simply a convenient phrase. A Void Marriage is no marriage. It is void since its inception. A void marriage does not alter or affect the status of the parties nor does it create any rights and obligations between the parties which normally arise from a valid marriage. The relationship of husband and wife does not come into existence from a void marriage. The position of the wife of a void marriage is not better than concubine. The issues from a void marriage are illegitimate unless legitimized by law (as per, Section 16, HINDU MARREAGE ACT) in some way.