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shahindia12

First cousin marriage legal or illegal in India?

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Hi, I am in love with my first cousin and we want to get married but I am confused about the law. Well, I now we will face alot of problems becuse we are hindu and our society and family will never accept this but we can't live without each other and love each other very much. But the main question is. Is it legal or illegal for first cousin to get married.  I did some research and found that according to the Hindu Marriage Act of India "the childern of brother and sister can't marry".  But people in the south India tell it is legal to marry first cousin in India. Also, it is normal and first cousin marry in India everyday. Can you help me with this. What is true and what is false.

Thank You,

Shah

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Hi Shah,

Welcome to CC.com, I am in the USA so I don't know the laws of India, but I do know some people in Mumbai India that are married and are cousins. I would tell you to contact a lawyer or someone that deals with legal issue where you are at and ask them.

Good luck,

JF

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I've found it difficult as an English only reader to do that type of research. Let us know what you find out.

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As far as I know u cant do it....Facing same problm...consult a lawyer...

I'm copying frm Hindu Law for Marriage in India.............

The Prohibited Degrees in Marriage

A. Special Marriage Act 1872

The concept of ?prohibited degrees in marriage? is recognized by all systems of

family law and generally every family law has its own list of relatives with whom

one cannot marry. The Special Marriage Act 1872 did not contain any such list

and only laid down that:

?The parties must not be related to each other in any degree of

consanguinity or affinity which would, according to any law to

which either of them is subject, render a marriage between them

illegal.?

Thus, in respect to prohibited degrees in marriage in an intended civil marriage to

be regulated by the Special Marriage Act 1872 personal laws of the parties,

common or different, remained in force.

B. Special Marriage Act 1954

The new Special Marriage Act 1954 wholly changes the situation in respect of

prohibited degrees in marriage. One of the conditions for an intended civil

marriage to be solemnized under this Act is that ?the parties are not within the

degrees of prohibited relationship? [section 4 (d)]. The expression ?degrees of

prohibited relationship? is defined in Section 2 (B) of the Act as ?a man and any of

the persons mentioned in Part I of the First Schedule and a woman and any of the

persons mentioned in Part II of the said Schedule.? Thus, unlike the first Special

Marriage Act 1872 this Act incorporates its own list of prohibited degrees in

marriage, separate for men and women.

17

In each of the two lists of prohibited degrees there are 37 entries. The

relations mentioned in the first 33 entries in each list are regarded as prohibited

degrees in marriage under all other laws, both codified and uncodified. These

entries, therefore, do not inhibit any person of whatever religion from opting for a

civil marriage. The last four entries in the two lists mentioned below, however,

pose a problem for certain communities:

(a) List I (for men)

34. Father?s brother?s son

35. Father?s sister?s son

36. Mother?s sister?s son

37. Mother?s brother?s son

(B) List II (for women)

34. Father?s brother?s daughter

35. Father?s sister?s daughter

36. Mother?s sister?s daughter

37. Mother?s brother?s daughter

Thus all first cousins ? paternal and maternal, parallel and cross ? are

placed by the Special Marriage Act in the category of prohibited marital

relationship.

The Special Marriage Act 1954 makes a provision for relaxation of the rule

of prohibited degrees in marriage. To the condition that parties to an intended civil

marriage must not be within prohibited degrees of marriage the Act adds the

following proviso:

18

?Provided that where a custom governing at least one of the parties

permits a marriage between them, such marriage may be solemnized

notwithstanding that they are within the degrees of prohibited

relationship.? [clause (d) of Section 4]

The word ?custom? as used in this Proviso is defined by the Act in the

following terms:

?In this section ?custom? in relation to a person belonging to any tribe

community, group or family, means any rule which the State

Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in

this behalf as applicable to members of that tribe, community, group

or family.? [Explanation to Section 4].

The position of first cousins under the Special Marriage Act 1954 is in

accord with the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 which also does not allow marriage

with any first cousin. Relaxation of the net of prohibited degrees on the ground of

custom is also permissible under that Act, but it does not require a gazette

notification by the State Government in this regard.

In Muslim law all first cousins both on the paternal and maternal sides are

outside the ambit of prohibited degrees in marriage. Personal law of the Jewish

and Bahai communities also permit marriage with a cousin. Under Christian law

marriage with a cousin may be permitted by a special dispensation by the Church.

It is doubtful if the expression ?custom? as defined in the Special Marriage Act

would include also personal law of the parties. And even if it does, the condition

of recognition by the State Government through a gazette notification would have

to be satisfied.

Another important point worth noting here is that under the Hindu Marriage

Act 1955 marriage with second cousins (father?s first cousin?s children) is also not

allowed due to the restriction known as ?sapinda? relationship [section 5(v)]. The

19

Special Marriage Act 1954, however, does not place any second cousin in its two

lists of prohibited degrees in marriage.

The consequence of these legal provisions is that if a Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist

or Jain wants to marry a second cousin he can do so under the Special Marriage

Act, though his personal law (now contained in the Hindu Marriage Act 1955)

does not permit it. On the contrary, if a Muslim wants to marry a first cousin he

cannot do so under the Special Marriage Act 1954 although the Muslim personal

law unconditionally permits such a marriage. Members of all those other

communities whose law allows, or may allow, marriage with a first cousin are also

in the same position as the Muslims. The discrimination between various Indian

communities inherent in this legal situation is too clear to be ignored.

Plz consult & post what u've found...

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hello there

i am facing same problem, i also love my first cousin [ my father's brother's daughter ] , please help me if you found any conclusion.

vikas

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Dear Vikas dada, I am paul from Bangladesh. I really feel your problem. The special marriage act seems to be prohibiting such marriage in INDIA. But famous Sattyajit Ray married his first cousin in 1949 ! So u better consult a lawyer to be really clear about hw u can marry her.

However in B'desh law doesn't prohibit it. I also love my first cross cousin. But the obligation of our family is bothering me more.

Even law permits u, what u think, how would u manage ur family and society?

However can you marry going to south india? It is common there among Hindus! I think civil law should allow now this for all.

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My understanding is that for Hindus, if it is permitted by your local custom then it is legal and if it is not permitted then it is illegal. If you are from North India and are a Hindu then it is definitely illegal and if you are from South India it is probably legal although there might be exceptions. If you are from some other part of India then it depends. For Muslims and Christians it is legal.

You should take note that although in other regions the situation may be totally different, in North India they kill couples over this. The lucky ones get permanent exile.

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Wow.  You seem extremely knowledgeable...

Do we now have an expert in this area?  :biggrin:

-Mark

My understanding is that for Hindus, if it is permitted by your local custom then it is legal and if it is not permitted then it is illegal. If you are from North India and are a Hindu then it is definitely illegal and if you are from South India it is probably legal although there might be exceptions. If you are from some other part of India then it depends. For Muslims and Christians it is legal.

You should take note that although in other regions the situation may be totally different, in North India they kill couples over this. The lucky ones get permanent exile.

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after much googling i m rather confused about the local law.like "you can marry....exept this..this n that that"

i have the same issue.i m from kolkata.all i came to a decission is that u have u manage "at least one party(family)" rest for the law get a good lawyer,also the information is true that satyajit ray married his first cousin in 1949-can u beleive the dare.so just be brave and do everything what it takes.because it is your life n getting born as a hindu(and not a cristan or muslim)is not ur fault.we make the rules for the HINDU marraige looking after the tradition n custom.and this man made rules cannt ruin ur love n life.

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Why don't u go straight to a curt to get an answer. Surprising as it might sound some lawyers might not know if it's legal or not.

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I am a girl, who wants to marry with my mother's  sister's son in India. Pleas advice me if its legal in North India (Punjab).

Thanks

Neha

:(

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I am a girl, who wants to marry with my mother's  sister's son in India. Pleas advice me if its legal in North India (Punjab).

Thanks

Neha

:(

..................hi neha i also have same problem can u tell me the solution of it...she is my mother's sister's daughter......plzzz help me out....waiting for ur reply.....am from north india....(.rajasthan)
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hai friends

Iam from Tamilnadu and iam in love with my first cousin(my mothers siaters doughter). we are in love for past 10 years and we are sure enough that our parents will not accept this. Also i have been intensively consulting on cousin marriages and found ut few points. First thing, It is a prohibited relationship as per any marriage law in India(expect muslim). U can go ahead and marry if any one party(Boy or girls custom) have been accepting it for a long time.

So truthfully speaking, there is no way to register your marriage.

The only option is that you can marry in any temple(without telling that you r cusins) and then go and settle in any other state. In the new state you may register your marriage b supresing that u r cousins (be carefull that no one objects to your marriage in the new state) and live happily.

Another point is that , why u all want permission from law to marry your cousin. Why u want to register your marriage? don't your lover trust you? just marry in any temple and just live together, dont bother about registerations.

I think if all cousinlovrs in India work as group and help each others, we can suceed in this, lets think about this.

Happy married life......

you can mail me at - [email protected]

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I am a hindu too and I have the same problem..Can we trade places? ha ha ha ..I was thinking of this wierd idea..My cousin can marry yours and I can marry you..and I have aUS visa,after marriage we can trade places ..Just you can make ur parents happy and we can be happy too..

Think about it and mail to [email protected]

Sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings ..if you dont like this idea just ignore my msg completely..I am a total freak trying to make my parents happier

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I aggree with Rishi. I am ready to do so. I am north indian, Sharma

I am a hindu too and I have the same problem..Can we trade places? ha ha ha ..I was thinking of this wierd idea..My cousin can marry yours and I can marry you..and I have aUS visa,after marriage we can trade places ..Just you can make ur parents happy and we can be happy too..

Think about it and mail to [email protected]

Sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings ..if you dont like this idea just ignore my msg completely..I am a total freak trying to make my parents happier

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I aggree with Rishi. I am ready to do so. I am north indian, Sharma

I am a hindu too and I have the same problem..Can we trade places? ha ha ha ..I was thinking of this wierd idea..My cousin can marry yours and I can marry you..and I have aUS visa,after marriage we can trade places ..Just you can make ur parents happy and we can be happy too..

Think about it and mail to [email protected]

Sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings ..if you dont like this idea just ignore my msg completely..I am a total freak trying to make my parents happier

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I am also feeling the same problem;

i love my first cousin for last 10 years but last month her family arranged her marriage with some person and now my cousin also avoid me to make his family happy but i know well that i cant live with her.

Two months left for her marriage so give me some advice what i have to do now.

  :cry:

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My Indian brother, it's the 21st century already! Your cousin can resist and refuse to marry the arranged husband.

The ball is in her court and there is nothing you can do about it. You speak up now and man up now or loose her forever. It's really that simple.

I am also feeling the same problem;

i love my first cousin for last 10 years but last month her family arranged her marriage with some person and now my cousin also avoid me to make his family happy but i know well that i cant live with her.

Two months left for her marriage so give me some advice what i have to do now.

  :cry:

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we sure have a LOT of guests who aren't registered in this thread!

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Hi vikas

can we two help each other. I am hindu brahmin North india

hello there

i am facing same problem, i also love my first cousin [ my father's brother's daughter ] , please help me if you found any conclusion.

vikas

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hi

is it possible to help each other. i am hindu brahmin from north india

I am a hindu too and I have the same problem..Can we trade places? ha ha ha ..I was thinking of this wierd idea..My cousin can marry yours and I can marry you..and I have aUS visa,after marriage we can trade places ..Just you can make ur parents happy and we can be happy too..

Think about it and mail to [email protected]

Sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings ..if you dont like this idea just ignore my msg completely..I am a total freak trying to make my parents happier

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U can marry ur cross cousins like ur fathers sisters daughter or ur mothers brothers daughter. U cant marry ur parallel cousins. But thats in southern parts of India and southern Maharashtra. Up north u cant marry in the same gotra.

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hey, i reali think wat u posted is very helpful and gave me hopes, i just wan the link so tat i can learnt more and stand for my love. please reply me asap. Reali looking forward for a reply from you brother. God bless.

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hello ther, im in love with my first cousin(mother's sister's son)

i get to knw him after 18 years and i reali discovered so many things in me after knowin him and the only thing i would say is tat i cant stay without him!!!1the prob is my parents got to knw bout it and they seem to be so unhappy and control my life, i just love both my parents and him, im practically stuck now sidin no wer, i reali need help on how to explai things to them so that my life will be complete with him, help me..................

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What if all the cousin couples got together and decided a way forward to make our dreams come true.

Any suggestions, if we could make a social group and decide how to go about marrying.

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